A woman who says she was subjected to torture, threats and harassment from her ex-partner has bravely spoken out to warn others.
Karl Waudby of Midland Road, Sandy, was jailed for 22 weeks on August 10 for breaching a restraining order not to contact Danielle Fielding.
In June this year he had received a suspended sentence for beating Danielle at her home in Upper Caldecote.
The 27-year-old mum-of-four has now fled to a refuge outside the county. She says Waudby, who is the father of her youngest child, first assaulted her in December 2015 in front of the children, when she was six months pregnant.
He choked her and got her into a headlock and threw her onto the dining table before stealing her car. She called police but Waudby managed to convince her to drop the charges, claiming it was her fault he had attacked her.
But the most serious attack was in February this year after she came home ill from work.
“He held me hostage, torturing me in our house for two hours,” says Danielle. “He strangled me four times until I blacked out and then brought me round again. He said the only way I was leaving was in a body bag, I thought I was going to die.”
She managed to convince him she had to go with him to the childminder’s to pick up the baby and while there begged the childminder to call the police. Waudby stole her car again, she says and went on the run for four days before turning himself in.
He received a suspended sentence for the attack and driving without a licence and insurance, and was also made the subject of a restraining order.
But Danielle says within minutes of appearing in court he had texted her to taunt her.
Danielle said it took seven statements sent from the police force which now covers where she lives, before Bedfordshire Police arrested him again.
And she criticised the police for a lack of support even though there was a marker on her property meant to ensure an immediate response if she called believing she was under threat from Waudby.
On one occasion she called 999 after she spotted Waudby outside her property but was told it was not an emergency because she had not seen him for 5-10 minutes. Her four children were in the property at the time.
“I feel extremely let down by Beds Police for the length of time it took to get things done,” she said. “They told me numerous times how stretched they were.”
The couple first met in April 2014 and moved in together two months later, Danielle said she was aware he had a temper but things calmed down after the baby was born.
After the last attack while he was out on bail Danielle said: “He was at my front door constantly harrassing and calling me. The police did nothing, it was horrific.”
Danielle says her children have suffered after witnessing attacks, and being uprooted, and she is struggling to find counselling support for them and herself.
“It’s my boys that are struggling the most,” she said. “They have missed eight weeks of school this year.
“I have good days and bad days.
“I will enjoy the next 22 weeks without harassment but as soon as he is back out of jail he will break the restraining order again.”
Detective Chief Inspector John Murphy from Bedfordshire Police said: “We take all reports of stalking and harassment extremely seriously.
“We understand the level of alarm and distress incidents like this cause to the victims. Stalking and harassment are a sinister crimes which strip the person from their confidence.
“We are sorry to hear the victim in this case wasn’t happy with our service, we continue to seek opportunities to build on the service we provide and we will revisit the case to identify any areas of learning.”
If you are being stalked or harassed contact police on 101, always call 999 in an emergency.
You can also seek support from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 8020300 and Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service 020 3866 4107, http://paladinservice.co.uk.