Weather anchor Ruth Dodsworth recounted how her children called her to tell her not to come home because her husband threatened to kill her.
The ITV host Wales, who has been on screen for 25 years, was on This Morning to talk to Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes about her abusive ex-husband, who made her life a misery and left her feeling “Nervous, scared and broken”. .
A court learned last week how Jonathan Wignall, 54, controlled all aspects of Ms Dodworth’s life and frequently frequented the Cardiff studios where she was filming and on location, accessed her phone messages and mail, the prevented socializing with friends and family, threatened to kill himself and even put a tracker on his car.
Taking the courage to share her story on British television in an effort to help victims of domestic violence, Ruth recounted how the violence came to a head one day when their children called her to warn her not to return home. the House.
“A little less than two years ago, when things got worse, I was at work that week, he called hundreds of times a day, showed up at the office, texted me asking who I was with. ‘was,’ she said.
“One day he started drinking early in the day and when the kids got home from school they called me, warning me not to come home, saying he was going to kill me.
“It was a turning point. I didn’t go home, and I think if I did, I don’t think I would be here today in any form. I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t. wasn’t doing it. asking for help. Had to confide in someone else saying if I didn’t call the police they would. “
The couple had been married for 18 years and Ruth told presenters how she desperately tried to make the marriage work.
They married in 2001, but their marriage began to deteriorate in 2010 when Ruth returned to work.
“In a marriage, you try to make it work, you find excuses, you try to justify, you put on a smile but life isn’t always what it seems,” she says.
“Especially with a job like ours, you smile and make it look like you’re happy, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was determined to make it work, but it’s not. the case at the end. “
She told Rochelle that looking back, looking back, the signs were there.
“The signs were there, we were happy but there were times when her temper became evident,” she said. “I was the only person he could direct his anger on as business started to fail.
“But the very expression of domestic violence was very difficult for me to say, even now, because I still didn’t see myself in that category.”
Ruth admitted that she was leading the ‘Instagram life’ but her husband started to get paranoid and jealous and even offered to pay their kids money so they could access his phone to check messages.
Speaking of the level of abuse, she explained, “If I waited until he fell asleep first, that was OK. But if I fell asleep first, he would slap me to wake me up because it wasn’t on his terms.
“He’s a man I loved and who is the father of my children. It’s degrading, it was humiliating but it’s so hard to get out. I would tell people, get out. Talk to someone. “
There is help and support for victims of abuse.
Support is available in Welsh and English and most of the time is there 24 hours a day.
In an emergency, call 999, but there are a number of support agencies to help you:
Fearless Live Phone Support – 24 Hour Support
Confidential support and information for anyone experiencing sexual violence, domestic violence or violence against women in Wales, as well as family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. Telephone support available in Welsh, English and all other languages.
Free number T: 0808 8010800
Talk about type: 1800108088010800
24/7 text assistance: 078600 77333
24/7 Live Chat: www.livefearfree.gov.wales
24 hour Bawso hotline
Provide specialized services to BME communities.
T: 0800 731 8147 W: bawso.org.uk
Suzy Lamplugh Trust National Stalking Helpline
Advice and help if you are a victim of criminal harassment.
T-free number: 0808 802 0300
The charity operates a national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline
Free number T: 0808 2000247
NSPCC FGM Helpline
Call the FGM helpline if you are concerned that a child is at risk or has undergone FGM.
T: 0800 028 3550 E: [email protected]
Forced Marriage Unit Helpline
Advice and support for victims of forced marriage.
T: 020 7008 0151
Hotline for Modern Slavery
To report a suspicion, get help, or ask for advice or information.
T: 0800 0121700 W: modernslaveryhelpline.org
Respect the telephone line
For anyone concerned about their violence and / or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner
T: 0808 802 4040 E: [email protected] W: respectphoneline.org.uk
After her arrest, Ruth discovered that the house they lived in was rented out and that there were thousands of pounds in debt to her name that she had no idea about.
She said: “I have been working for 25 years but have nothing to show. I can’t get a mortgage, I can’t get a credit card, but I have my kids, I’m sitting here in talking.you now and I have a family around me who love me
“The days are dark, but I have been saved and if people can do it for me, they can do it for everyone.
“Not being believed was something that worried me, but I was believed.”
Last week a court heard how this nature of control, which lasted for nine years, had a ‘devastating impact’ on Ms Dodsworth and even affected her career as a presenter at ITV Wales after her continued harassment affected her confidence .
In a statement read to the court, Ms Dodsworth, 45, said she should portray a ‘happy and sun-like’ personality on television when she feels the opposite inside.
A Cardiff Crown Court sentencing hearing on Wednesday learned that Wignall had been arrested on October 18, 2019, after her behavior reached a critical point after calling her more than 150 times during the day and Ms Dodsworth had not returned to the Cowbridge family home out of fear. for his safety.
He was imprisoned for three years. Details of the conviction here.
In sentencing, Judge Daniel Williams said: “It is clear that you have no remorse for what you have done. You are seeking to justify your actions and in your eyes you have done nothing right. wrong and you have no perception of how others may see you.
“You affect the air of a respectable besieged but successful businessman, but you are not. You are a fantasy with a fragile ego that makes you an unrepentant possessive tyrant.”
* Confidential notice Suzy Lamplugh Trust National Stalking Helpline 0808802 0300 and Byw heb Ofn / Live Fear Free 0808 8010800.