‘My hell at hands of violent ex’ - victim speaks out

Lesleigh Butler, who has bravely spoken out.

Lesleigh Butler, who has bravely spoken out.

A Mansfield woman who has beaten and strangled by her ex partner says domestic violence victims are too afraid to step forward because jail sentences are too lenient.

Lesleigh Butler says she continues to live in fear after her former boyfriend subjected her to horrific ordeal in her own home.

He was jailed at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court recently for four months, but is likely to be out in two months.

For 28-year-old Lesleigh though, her world has been turned upside down by the incident in January, saying she has become the prisoner.

She carries three alarms with her at all times, including a GPS tracker linked directly to the police, and is on a cocktail of medication just to help her function.

“The justice system is the reason why women do not come forward, there needs to be tougher sentences,” Lesleigh said.

“If you strangled somebody you are trying to take away their right to live - it should be attempted murder.

“The law needs to change. I’m a prisoner now, I feel like I’ve been punished.

“I can’t go anywhere without people knowing where I am. I feel angry that he will be out in a few months.

“I just have to take things day by day.

“He should have got longer.”

Her former partner, Phillip Froggatt, a 31-year-old alcoholic who lives on Recreation Street, Mansfield, was drunk when she let him stay at her own home.

He turned violent, dragging to the floor by her hair and tearing out huge clumps.

Froggatt then forced her face into a dog food bowl and had his hands around her throat before dragging her across the kitchen floor.

She had managed to phone the police who arrested the thug.

He gave ‘no comment’ answers throughout his police interview.

On hearing the evidence, the magistrate sitting at the hearing in Mansfield said it as once of the worst cases he had ever come across.

Lesleigh and Froggatt had only been a couple for a few months several years ago, and had agreed to remain friends, although he had tried to get back with her when she moved back to Mansfield last year.

And while she says it was the first time he had turned violent with her, she became aware of his past with previous convictions for domestic violence with a different partner.

Following his arrest, Lesleigh was offered the help of the national charity, Women’s Aid, which helps those affected by domestic violence.

“They have been amazing, they were there from the beginning,” added Lesleigh.

“They have been very supportive and helpful, telling me what some of the options are.”

Spending most of her time with friends, she feels as though she now needs to move away from the area for her own safety.

However, she does not regret calling in the police, and says other domestic abuse victims need the courage to get away from their partners.

She said: “My advice to others is get out when you can in the safest way possible.

“Save some money, keep a bag of clothes and a mobile phone with a separate sim card - it comes in handy.

“If you have to leave that night, that’s all you can take with you.”

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