A woman who was brutally tortured by her footballer boyfriend three years ago recently recounted the horrific ordeal as she launched a domestic abuse support group to help others in similar situations.
Danielle Thomas, now 35, was locked in her home and subjected to horrific abuse for three days by footballer Reece Thompson, who has played for Retford United, Boston United and Guiseley AFC, and was a trainee at Lincoln City. Thompson, who was sent to jail in 2019 for his crimes, struck Thomas with an iron bar and made her lick fresh paint off the floor during the torture in September 2018, reports Mail Online.
The 27-year-old also smashed her over the head with two mirrors, rubbed glass into her, and broke her jaw. He was jailed for 40 months after a hearing at Nottingham Crown Court in April 2019, where he pleaded guilty to damaging property, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was also handed a 10-year restraining order.
The footballer was released from prison after only a few months in January 2020, but sent back in February after he posted a number of inappropriate tweets in relation to his conviction and spoke about the case to a national news website.
Thomas, who continues to struggle with complex PTSD and personality disorder due to Thompson's crimes, said that she felt "trapped" during the ordeal and her "spirit was broken" by the criminal's behaviour. She said, "I was in a relationship with who I thought was a great guy. Unfortunately not long into the relationship, violence and control started. To begin with he would check my phone and started discouraging me from going out to see friends and taking part in my hobbies."
Thomas recalled that she started noticing several other changes in Thompson's behaviour after a while, including that he started hating the idea of her doing pole fitness which he once appreciated. "Then one night, out of nowhere, I was sleeping and was woken up by him being on top of me, punching me and pulling my hair. He had been going through my phone and looking at old Facebook messages. He found a very old innocent message from another guy and this sparked his violent outburst," she recalled.
Thomas, who is mother to Lielarni, 15, and Ella, 11, said that such behaviour continued most weeks after that point and would result in more violence every time she tried to end the relationship. "I was told I could never leave or escape him. I felt trapped. My spirit was broken and I didn't know what to do. I believed this must have somehow been my fault and thought that this was now my life. I didn't think the police would take me seriously and I had no idea where to turn," she said.
Thomas recounted that it all came to a head on that fateful night of September 12, 2018, when her then-boyfriend decided she "needed to be taught a lesson" and locked her in her own home for three days and tortured her. The criminal even made her daughter Ella watch the abuse on the first night, leaving her traumatised.
"Having been through this experience, I don't wish for any other woman to suffer in silence or be subject to any form of domestic violence. I know how isolating, lonely, embarrassing and frightening it can feel," said Thomas, who is fundraising for a free campsite in South Yorkshire that offers a safe, relaxing, educational environment for domestic abuse survivors and their families.