Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 11:11 UK

'He hit her with a fire extinguisher'

Joan McFadden, before and after she began a relationship with Desmond Davis
Joan McFadden, pictured before and after she married Davis. She suffered a stroke about a year after remarrying, which her daughter blames on the abuse

In 2003, Sharon McFadden's mother Joan returned from her honeymoon with broken ribs.

Despite warnings from her family, six years after the death of Sharon's father, 55-year-old Joan married Desmond Davis, a man with a reputation for drinking and violence.

Nine months into their marriage, she received a horrific beating from Davis when the couple were on holiday.

"He had hit her so hard in the face with a fire extinguisher that he'd fractured her eye socket," Sharon said.

"Apparently the neighbours in the chalet next door had heard an almighty scream and a thudding, then silence.

Desmond Davis
Desmond Davis claims he cared for his wife until her death in 2007

"They'd heard them arguing before it - but her eye was so badly damaged, it was all sunken in.

"She had to get a piece of her skull removed to rebuild her a new eye socket, so her eye would look normal again."

Sharon went to the police, but was told her mother would have to report the incident.

Just months after she was attacked with the fire extinguisher, Joan had a stroke.

Sharon said: "Doctors can't say it was the fire extinguisher incident that did it, but he caused that stroke.

"He battered her so much and wore her down so much she'd taken a stroke."

Davis was convicted of assaulting his wife and was jailed. But after his release, he went back to live with Joan.

Within months - at the age of 58 - she was dead.

More than two years after her mother's death, Sharon is battling to find out what happened during the last months of her life.

'Extreme neglect'

Joan's medical notes revealed alerts flagged up by doctors and social workers after Davis was released from jail.

It stated: "House visit 2.20pm - police in attendance ... evidence of extreme neglect.

"Apparently fell out of bed last night and grazed both knees. Weepy, states that she hates her husband, and that he does not look after her.

"Only wearing long T-shirt and covered in old food and cigarette ash, grazed right knee, with old dried blood to shin.

"Anorexia and nausea with obvious neglect. Ambulance arranged. Husband happy."

Sharon has had meetings with Glasgow lawyer Frank Maguire, who believes he may be able to build a case against the state using Human Rights laws - but not against Davis - who denies ever attacking his wife.

"There's nobody else to fight for my mum, and I don't want it to happen to anybody else," she said.

DEBBIE GRAHAM
Debbie Graham
Debbie Graham's neighbours corroborated her story

Nearly every day for 14 years Debbie Graham suffered at the hands of a violent partner, Sean Lyden.

"Every single day, it would be something different," she said.

"You weren't allowed to do anything at all apart from take the kids to school and go to the shop, and even then you were timed when you went to the shop."

The 32-year-old recalled the attack which led to her breaking free from Lyden.

"He came into the living room after me, dragged me aff the couch by the hair and dragged me into the room," she said.

"He started banging my head off the Artex and that was when I thought, 'I can't do this anymore'."

Debbie, a mother-of-four, reported her husband to the police, as she had done several times before.

Sean Lyden
Lyden was jailed for three years and was given a non-harrassment order

However, this time Strathclyde Police's domestic abuse taskforce was brought in, and it started to look at Lyden's history.

Debbie said: "I was told that if I did a historical statement they could take it to the procurator fiscal and let the fiscal go through it.

"If they thought there was anything in it that they could get Sean for, then they could take it to court, which I thought was absolutely brilliant."

Lyden was charged with repeatedly assaulting his wife by hitting and choking her, shouting, swearing, destroying property, compelling her to clean and depriving her of sleep.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison and given a five year non-harassment order.

"It's not 14 years - but he's inside," she said.

"He can't go anywhere. He can't do his own thing, which is good enough for me."


Hitting Home will be broadcast on BBC One Scotland at 2235 BST on Tuesday 11 May



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