A young woman was held prisoner in Liverpool for nine months by her new boyfriend, who also set his dog on her. Becky Keegan, 24, finally escaped by climbing through a kitchen window but broke her ankle when she fell to the ground. Keegan met David Lacey in March last year and they began dating.
But after one visit, Lacey imprisoned her in his house, refusing her access to her children and family. Her family presumed she had run away with a new boyfriend and did not report her disappearance to the police. She eventually escaped in January this year.
Lacey was given a 22-month jail sentence in July by Liverpool and Knowsley magistrates after pleading guilty to charges of false imprisonment and stealing electricity. Keegan is now living with her mother and wants to become a care worker. She said: "When I first started chatting to David he seemed so lovely and said he'd treat me like a princess. I can't believe I was so gullible," she said.
"After going to see him one Friday evening, he decided I wasn't allowed to leave. He then sold my phone and I was petrified. I just wanted to get back to my family. He sometimes hit me and even got his dog to bite me. There was hardly ever anything to eat and the electricity would get cut off, so I'd be freezing. Eventually I climbed out of the kitchen window but broke my ankle in the process. Getting back to my family was such a relief but I don't know if I'll ever feel truly safe again.
"I never knew it would turn into nine months. I felt worse than a prisoner; I was like his slave. He also took my bank cards away from me. I wasn't allowed to stand near the windows and I could only leave the house to go to his mum's for an hour or two." She said that she had now received counselling and was attempting to move on with her life.