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How stupid can you be???

Solicitor relives chainsaw attack by her jealous husband

· Lawyer wed 'Jekyll and Hyde' after court meeting
· Unlimited jail term for 'very dangerous' engineer


Rachel Williams
Wednesday December 19, 2007
The Guardian


A solicitor whose husband attacked her with a chainsaw first met him when she represented him in court for slitting the throat of a former partner.

Civil engineer Patrick Darragh was given an indeterminate jail sentence for public protection yesterday over the chainsaw assault, which left Claire Bates needing 56 stitches to her head and surgery to reattach an ear. He must serve at least four years before he can apply to be released on licence.

Northampton crown court heard that Darragh met Bates in 1998, when he was convicted of attacking Angela Spriggs with a serrated steak knife and jailed for 3½ years, and she was his legal representative. They married when he was released in 2000.

 

The 52-year-old, who was born in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, last month pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Bates at their remote cottage in Denford, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, in May.

The court heard yesterday that Darragh, known to his friends as Dessie, was a Jekyll and Hyde character who had flown into a jealous rage after accusing his wife of having an affair with a work colleague he had introduced her to.

He came into the living room with the chainsaw saying: "If I can't have you then nobody will." In a statement read to the court by prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC, she said: "I thought he was going to kill me. I was on the floor by the door. He was putting it (the chainsaw) in my head on my left hand side. I can just remember the noise and him putting it in my head. I don't know how I got away because he didn't stop. "

She went on: "I remember I was lying on my front face down by the back door, Dessie was down by my right hand side. He was not standing, he was on top of me because I could feel pressure on my back. I was screaming saying 'no, please no'." Bates managed to escape to a neighbour's house to call the police. Darragh tried to slash his wrists.

Judge Charles Wide QC said the attack had been horrific. "I have no doubt at all that you are a very dangerous man indeed," he told Darragh. "It may be that you are so dangerous that it will be many, many years before you are released."

He added: "It is claimed from your history that you have it in you to have a real hold over vulnerable women and their continued devotion in spite of your abuse of them might seem to an outsider very strange indeed, but it is a symptom of the hold you had over both of them. You were jealous and controlling and that is what lay at the root of this, becoming extremely violent with a chainsaw."

The judge said it was extraordinary that Bates' injuries had not been more serious. A video of the chainsaw slicing through a tree trunk in 15 seconds, and the bloodstained and torn jumper worn by Bates on the night of the attack, were shown to the court. Graham Buchanan, defending, said she had been a frequent visitor to the category A prison where Darragh has been on remand. "She is an educated lady, a qualified lady," he said. "She knew exactly what had happened with his former partner. She went into it undoubtedly with her eyes open."

In a letter Bates said she felt her husband was a "very kind man deep down" who had loved her but their relationship deteriorated when she miscarried their child in January. Darragh had originally pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, but the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm with intent, after taking his wife's wishes into account.

Hmm - she "first met him when she represented him in court for slitting the throat of a former partner. " - did that not give her an eensy weensy tiny little clue that this guy MIGHT JUST BE A BAD PERSON TO GET INVOLVED WITH!!!?!?!????!??

I mean come on - he tried to MURDER a former partner - just a tiny hint that this guy is a VIOLENT SADISTIC THUG with a penchant for ATTEMPTING TO KILL WOMEN.

Definitely a candidate for an honourary Darwin Award. It's one thing if you get involved with someone who seems nice, but later turns out to be abusive. It's just plain INSANE to get involved with someone who's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a WOMEN HATING PSYCHOPATH!!!!!!

And the fact she COLLUDED in getting his charges downgraded? So he's out earlier and free to hurt or KILL somebody else????? Have she totally lost the FUCKING PLOT?

I give up. I really do. Some people are just beyond any rational analysis. How can you be intelligent enough to qualify as a solicitor but be so imbecelic as to think it's a good idea to get involved with a man PIECE OF SHIT like that?

Comments

Oh there you go again Brian, taking the World seriously. We've warned you about this before! It can only lead to disaster.
Granted to an outsider this seems the maddest thing but consider what the judge said "It is claimed from your history that you have it in you to have a real hold over vulnerable women and their continued devotion in spite of your abuse of them might seem to an outsider very strange indeed, but it is a symptom of the hold you had over both of them. You were jealous and controlling and that is what lay at the root of this, becoming extremely violent with a chainsaw"

It is rarely obvious that someone is an abuser until the victim has been sucked into their power. That's part of what being an abuser is about. The manipulation and control and fear that becomes part of everyday life is considered to be normal, or the best that you deserve, ...

Look at her comment about the miscarriage, she's accepting responsibility for his mental state. She believes that it's her fault that things have gone bad and that she can change him.

She's a solicitor, you'd imagine that she'd be a pretty intelligent person so how did she fall into this trap?

How does anyone fall into an abusers trap?

Because when they jaws are open you don't see it. She probably had her own victim history which may have made her the kind of person who wishes to rescue the hurt.

As a rescuer she might pick a speciality of extreme GBH cases to defend. After all if she's good at her job she'll get them off. Or she'll defend them at the least.

She probably thought that his behaviour was a one off and believed all his stories about how his ex drove him to it with her 'incorrect' behaviour. She believed that she would be different.

He was charming and she fell for it.

Don't vilify her, she needs support and help for whatever underlying mental state led her to that point.
"It is rarely obvious that someone is an abuser until the victim has been sucked into their power"

Except here it was totally obvious wasn't it? I'd buy that argument if she wasn't aware of his background/relationship history but she knew EXACTLY what he was capable of - she knew all the "gory details" (literally in this case).

As an hypothetical analogy let's say I decided it was a good idea to start dating Lorena Bobbit (of the penis severing fame). If at some future point she threw a jealousy fit and sliced my dick off, I might just have it suggested to me that I was an idiot for getting involved with someone who handles jealousy issues by attacking her partner's manhood with a steak knife.

At what point does "don't blame the victim" become an excuse for completely failing to take any personal responsibility for your own welfare and safety?