Domestic abuse victim speaks out after frightening Aylesbury hammer attack

The scene in Belgrave Road on March 5
The scene in Belgrave Road on March 5
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An Aylesbury woman at the centre of a savage domestic abuse case has spoken about the terrifying experience she endured at the hands of her ex-partner.

Darren Stenhouse, 38, brutally attacked mother-of-three Claire Harrison with a hammer on March 5 after she ended their violent four year relationship.

He was today (Friday) sentenced at Reading Crown Court to eight-and-a-half years in prison for GBH with intent and false imprisonment.

Ms Harrison, 30, of Belgrave Road, Aylesbury, said in a statement following the sentencing: “The attack that took place on the March 5 was the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me, I didn’t know whether I was going to live or die, whether I would ever see my children or my family again.

“I am very lucky to be here right now and am so relieved that my four year ordeal with an abusive partner has finally come to an end.

“I knew that by finally finding the strength to leave him for good would have serious consequences for me but I did it and I’m still here to tell the tale.

“There is help out there for anyone going through domestic violence, there are people to turn to for help and protection and there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how bad things may seem.

“I want to thank the police and other organisations that have helped me, they have been fantastic and extremely supportive and always there when I needed something.

“So please don’t let yourself or your children live in fear, you are worth so much more than that.

“There is life after domestic violence and it’s good. Feeling free is amazing.

“The road to recovery may be slow but I urge anyone out there suffering to get yourself and any children you may have to safety and speak up and put the perpetrator where they belong.

“Don’t be scared to get help. No-one deserves to go through any type of abuse. It’s not right. It’s your life not their’s and life is for living and that is exactly what I will be doing from now on for the rest of mine.”

Det Insp Chris Inness said: “Victims of domestic abuse are often reluctant to involve the police and support a prosecution, and I would like to praise Claire Harrison for her courage in supporting this investigation and ensuring that justice is done.

“I hope the custodial sentence given to Darren Stenhouse will serve as a warning and a deterrent to domestic abuse perpetrators.

“Thames Valley Police is committed to tackling domestic abuse and we will be relentless in our pursuit of justice for victims.”