'I said I was leaving him so he hit me with a hammer' - Preston woman's abuse at hands of ex while six months' pregnant

A domestic violence victim today shared horrific images of injuries inflicted with a hammer while she was six months' pregnant.
Gemma Griffin's injuriesGemma Griffin's injuries
Gemma Griffin's injuries

Gemma Griffin, 39, was punched and hit in the face with a hammer, before having a vodka bottle smashed over her head and a smashed wine glass held to her throat.

Former soldier Kelvin Cornwell also throttled the mum-to-be and left her bleeding, bruised and suffering a broken nose.

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Their baby son, who was born just weeks later, was fortunately unharmed.

The mum bravely spoke out as Cornwell, 41, of Chaddock Street, Preston, starts an extended eight-year jail term, with a three-year licence period, after admitting causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Preston Crown Court heard the attack was anonymously reported by someone who saw her injuries on March 4, and police then attended the address.

They found Gemma had facial injuries.

Gemma GriffinGemma Griffin
Gemma Griffin

There was blood and damage around the flat, and officers found a blood-stained hammer.

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In a candid interview, Gemma says she met Cornwell after moving to Preston from the Manchester area, and they had been in an on-off relationship for two years.

She said: “I moved here after my recovery from a drug addiction.

“Kelvin was all sweetness and light at the beginning.

“It started off as emotional abuse, me not realising it. He’d say things like: ‘You’re ugly’, or ‘I’m the only one who’ll ever love you’.

“He controlled what I wore, I couldn’t wear anything tight or stylish, I had to be covered up. The usual things people do like going to the gym, or shopping were big no's.

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“He would turn my friends and family against me - he’d smash my phones up so I couldn’t contact people, and tell people he’d beat me up because I had attacked him, or that he’d caught me cheating on him, or that I’d come at him with a pair of scissors.

“My family all respected him and thought he was keeping me on the straight and narrow, so I was embarrassed to tell anyone the truth.

“When my older daughter fell pregnant he tried to make me believe my own daughter’s baby was his, just to try to make me argue with her.

“Sometimes he would tell me to kill myself, or say that he would. He made me believe I’d get into trouble if I told anyone what was happening, and that it would be easier to kill myself.

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“On one occasion when police were involved he said he’d get someone to shoot me if I didn’t drop the charges.

“I had previously pressed charges against him - one time I lost a baby after being attacked and he got arrested but I couldn’t carry on with the case.

“But this time I knew I had to leave and he found out, that’s why he grabbed a hammer.

“He couldn’t grasp why I was putting my son first.”

The attack left Gemma drifting in and out of consciousness.

Referring to his sentence she adds: “Nothing could be long enough for what he did, but I’m happy the courts have acknowledged how serious it is.”