A woman who was abused and stalked by her jealous ex husband has spoken of the terrifying moment he sent her pictures of himself half naked and smashing up their family home.
Bobbi Eastham, 35, posed with a sledgehammer as he trashed their children’s bedrooms. He was later found to have a BB gun in his car and live ammunition in the property in Preston Road, Longridge.
He sent his tormented ex, who does not wish to be named, a twisted picture diary as he took the sledgehammer and a spade to the house, causing up to £40,000 damage.
It was the culmination of an ordeal that saw the mum followed, stalked and threatened.
Eastham is starting a three-year jail term after pleading guilty to stalking, criminal damage, breaking his non-molestation order, possessing an imitation firearm and possession of ammunition.
Today his victim spoke of her frustrations, saying more needs to be done to support women like her.
She says: “The whole system is against the victims, with the domestic violence team in the middle trying to keep you afloat with one arm tied behind their back. I have been failed many times. I fully understand why people go back.”
She says more help needs to be made available to families to escape abuse. “Fourteen years of abuse is not going to change overnight,” she said “I cannot tell you how close I have been to returning or begging to go back to him – yes beg.
“It’s all I knew. I have two boys by him. I have told them where he is but I cannot tell them what he has done.
“I feel abandoned and alone. No one will visit me, they are too scared of the repercussions of being seen at my house. I have even had messages saying I cannot be your friend on Facebook because of the aggro they would get.
“Through fear others have of my abuser I have been basically ostracized from the community.
“My job for the last 14 years has been to protect my family no matter what it cost me, and it has cost me dearly. I have no dignity left, no self worth or confidence.
“The torture I have endured since leaving is disgusting. If by telling my story I can prevent one woman from going through the utter despair, abuse, harassment and fear, it might make my horrid situation more palatable.”
The domestic violence team first intervened when she had to be treated at hospital for an injury.
She recalls: “Although I denied all abuse the nurse recognised various tell-tale signs and referred me. I was scared to speak out because the more I say the more it infuriates him and the more abuse I have to suffer,
“They slowly enlightened me enough that I agreed to attend a course. I went each week I sat there with a group of ladies who were all different some were loud and cocky, some quiet, some professionals, some young, some older like me. But we were all normal everyday people – it was wonderful to be with people who understood.
“I left in the end because I knew that within six months I would be coming out of that marital home in a box either by his hands or my own – I did not want to leave my children in his evil hands, so I chose to escape and leave.
“But not once has my journey been made bearable, the authorities have allowed him to abuse me on a whole new level."
Eastham was given 100 hours of unpaid work earlier this year for breaching a restraining order by bombarding her with 120 emails.
But she says he broke the order nearly every weekend culminating in the latest case.
She added: “I was close to giving up, in fact I did. I made a half-hearted suicide attempt, I do not want to die I just wanted it all to the stop, and just somebody to help me.
“I contacted the police many many times.
“One officer said ‘well you do live a bit near’ ‘you need to move’ when I had £92 to my name and bills due.
“I was in a two up two down while he stayed in the family home, refusing to pay the mortgage and refusing to sell. He was financially crippling me. At one point I could not cope with any more abuse. I contacted him and begged him to stop.
“I was shaking and sobbing, begging for forgiveness and apologising for speaking to the police.
“I am terrified of Bobbi, he is a monster. I truly believe one day he will strangle me.”
Preston Crown Court heard the total damage to the house is estimated at between £30,000 and £40,000.
Prosecuting, Amanda Johnson detailed the offences by Bobbi Eastham to a shocked court.
“He contacted the complainant and showed her criminal damage he had committed to their former home,” she said. “He destroyed the children’s rooms, stairways, walls, bathroom tiles and he put paint on the windows.”
The court heard he also sent a photo of himself standing next to a mural daubed with obscene comments directed to his ex.
The victim phoned police and Eastham was arrested on May 24.
His vehicle was searched and an imitation spring powered air pistol was found.
In his home were 18 plastic tipped bullets. He claimed it was his son’s BB gun and that the bullets had ‘slipped down’ a lip in his gun cabinet.
Richard Prue, defending, said: “It’s tragic when a marriage of this length with two children disintegrates in the way it has. The defendant, whilst denying some of the offences, has never had an appetite to force her to come to court and relive anything she has said. To a large extent he has accepted the implosion of his relationship having spent the best part of 35 years as a man of good character.
“He is utterly ashamed of his behaviour, particularly the damage to the matrimonial home.”
Judge James Adkin made an indefinite restraining order banning him from Longridge. He said: “This presents a disturbing picture of a man not prepared to accept the end of his 14-year relationship.
“Since the breakdown you have, in my judgement, bullied and intimidated her, making her life intolerable.”
The court heard Eastham previously breached an order prohibiting him from using or threatening violence, intimidating or harassing his ex, or damaging any property of hers and entering her home in Longridge in February. He was previously given a conditional discharge.
On April 12 the court imposed a further restraining order which prohibited him from contacting his victim or going within 100m of her home and heard how he broke that order a number of times culminating in the latest case.