Shocking injuries Preston husband inflicted on his wife in beatings

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This is the shocking catalogue of injuries a well-known businessman inflicted on his traumatised wife.

Wealthy furniture trader John Cowell punched his victim repeatedly and pulled her by her hair towards a hot fat fryer.

Cowell, 39, of D’Urton Lane, Preston, is today beginning a sentence of 15 months, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to causing his soon-to-be ex wife Lindsay actual bodily harm and breaching a non-molestation order.

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Judge Simon Medland QC, who also imposed an 18-day rehabilitation requirement, a restraining order, and £2,000 compensation, ordered two further counts of controlling and coercive behaviour, and a further assault on the same victim, to lie on the file.

The mum-of four bravely spoke of her ordeal after facing her attacker at court.

She said: “I want people to know the truth about him.

“It is a year to the day of the most serious attack.

“But I feel cheated that his sentence was suspended, and that the coercive control charge is lying on the file. People ask why victims don’t report everything that happens to them - it’s because they feel they won’t be believed or that it won’t be taken seriously.

“For me the controlling behaviour was the worst thing, not being allowed to go out and do anything.

“Sometimes the emotional side of it is more hurtful than the violence.

“One minute he was loving, the next he was screaming and shouting.”

The pair met in 2010, married in 2015 and have two children together.

She recalls: “The first time he hit me was after we had been to the pub and someone had walked up to me and said hello, but I actually thought he must really like me to be so jealous.

“But a couple of months after that he punched me in face and accused me of having threesome in his sister’s house. I never really had any friends.He used to make me feel horrible.”

She says matters escalated the night before her sister’s wedding.

She says: “He knew full well my sister was getting married and he didn’t want me to go. He would not go, he’d never go to anything like that.

“I told him: ‘I’ve got to go, I can’t not go.’

“The night before he pushed me to the ground, twisted my arm and ripped my rings off and told me to sleep in bed with my daughter. He was screaming at me.”

She claims he confronted her at home with a voice recorder he had hidden in her bag, playing her snippets of audio clips from the evening.

She says: “Afterwards he kept me up for three nights and three days and accused me of all kinds.”

The court ordered this assault, a lesser charge, to lie on the file.

She added: “We went to Tenerife each Christmas and one New Year’s Eve he rubbed a used nappy in my face.

“I ended up sitting on the balcony crying, watching the New Year fireworks.”

Lindsay, 38, who was poorly with sepsis after the birth of their second child and had to have a hysterectomy, says during a subsequent attack on January 8 last year, he stamped on her tummy, causing a haematoma.

Prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, Kyra Badman said: “She says there was a background of violence and control in the relationship.

“On January 8 last year, Lindsay Cowell called John Cowell at 7pm to ask what time he would be home.

“He was drinking at the Green Man pub. On arriving back there was an argument primarily about a holiday. He grabbed her left arm. He then punched her to the head with both fists.

“She describes having her hair pulled towards the chip fryer, which was on.

“He threw her to the floor, kicked her thigh before pulling her into the hallway.

“She ran out to the car and managed to drive a short distance away, and sat stationary, contemplating whether to call the police, but went back to get her children.

“He answered the door. She asked him to leave but he refused. She went upstairs with the children.

“They were all lying on the bed as Lindsay cried.

“She described him coming into the bedroom shouting. She called 999 but he took the phone away and spoke to police himself.

“He returned, shouting the police were coming and it was her fault and he repeatedly punched her again around five times before he left in his BMW X5.

“Police found her to be in a confused and distressed state. Her injuries were photographed and she was taken to hospital.

Lindsay has been left suffering cartilage damage to her knee, nightmares and flashbacks.

The court was told a non molestation order was issued on January 12 but he sent texts to her in March, including her social media profile picture saying: “Remember who took you there?”

In another he said: “Get me arrested again, just your style.”

The court heard he has a previous conviction in 2000 for causing actual bodily harm but not in a a domestic context.

The judge told Cowell: “You behaved in a completely unacceptable, frightening and violent way.

“You pulled her about, you frightened her, you terrified her and the children and took it upon yourself to use direct physical violence, causing serious bruising which has had significant effects upon her.”

He said Cowell’s pre-sentence report had indicated it was “not part of an ongoing pattern of behaviour of this nature” and that he did not hold seriously negative views of women in general.

He added: “I have to achieve a balance of imposing the appropriate penalty, taking into account the pain and suffering of your victim, the statements and the facts of this case, against the good points which undoubtedly assist in your favour.”

After the case an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate from Lancashire Victim Services, which supports victims, said of the case and sentence: “It’s very frustrating and doesn’t send a positive message to victims.”