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CrimeEditor's PicksGeneralDomestic Violence Victim Speaks Out After Drunken Violent Ex Drilled CORKSCREW Into Her Neck

Domestic Violence Victim Speaks Out After Drunken Violent Ex Drilled CORKSCREW Into Her Neck

A woman has told how she escaped her violent ex who drilled a CORKSCREW into her neck during a terrifying attack.

Vile Luke Dowdle, 43, used scissors, two knives and a plank of wood with a three-inch nail attached to beat Helen Midgley-Bryant, 53.

The thug caused injuries to every part of her body – too many for experts to count – and a head wound so deep her skull was visible.

Neighbours heard her screams as Dowdle tortured Helen, and when police arrived they found her home covered in blood – later described as “a scene of devastation”.

Monster Dowdle was arrested for attempted murder, but agreed to plead guilty to GBH
with intent and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

But five years on, Helen – who still suffers speech problems due to her injuries – said she has been warned he could be released early, in December.

She’s bravely speaking out to campaign to stop early release of domestic violence abusers.

Yob Dowdle had already been jailed for dragging another ex towards an open balcony on the second floor, telling her: ‘You’re going over’.

Helen, from Poole, Dorset, said: “He’s not only hurt me but other women he has been with.

“He’s up for parole after serving less than half his sentence.

“How is that right?

“He’s obviously a threat to women.

“I could have died.

“The council had to deep clean my house twice because they couldn’t get the stains out.


“Those 20 minutes have changed my life forever.

“I can’t open my jaw properly so I can hardly speak.

“Not only do I still have the scars I also have severe paranoia.

“Mentally I have to keep checking if someone is behind me but physically I can’t because I can’t move my neck to the left.

“I just don’t do anything anymore.

“He’s completely mucked me up.

“And soon he’ll be able to walk the streets again and look for revenge.”

Helen first met neighbour Luke in June 2011 hanging out near her house, and she invited him to her house to watching an Everton game together on TV.

The pair soon became a couple, but she claims it was violent “from start to finish”.

Helen said: “I had seen him around the estate before but I didn’t really know him.

“I invited him up to watch a football game and it kinda took off from there.

“The whole relationship was violent from start to finish to be honest.


“I lived in constant fear. I couldn’t escape him.

“He was just very coercive and controlling.

“He told me he would come for me if I ever snitched.

“He told me he has a crossbow buried in the woods somewhere.

“The only way I could escape would be for him to be behind bars.”

The pair went on to have a turbulent 18 month relationship before Luke returned from a four-day New Year’s bender confused filled with rage, she said.

Helen said: “He came in and thought there had been a man round the house.

“He threw me against the coffee table but I thought he was just mucking around.

“Then after a minute or two I realised just how serious this all was.

“I fought for my absolute life.


“I don’t remember much of it but I can remember thinking I need to jump out of the sitting room window to escape.

“Even though I was two floors up I knew there was a trampoline in my neighbour’s garden below.

“But I was just completely stuck.

“He kept dragging me up and down the hallway onto of broken glass.

“I remember opening my eyes and seeing bloodied footprints on the floor from where he kept stamping on my head.

“He was so paranoid he always kept a blank of wood with a nail by the door in case anyone broke in.

“He used that to smash it across my head.

“That’s what exposed my skull.”

Police found Helen lying in a pool of blood after concerned neighbours raised the alarm when they heard a woman screaming for help.

A court heard when officers entered the building Helen – whose hair was matted with blood and her clothes blood-stained – screamed; ‘He’s done this. He’s tried to kill me’.

She was rushed to Poole Hospital after suffering a wound two-and-a-half centimetres deep on her head, exposing her skull, where she stayed for two-and-a-half weeks.

In addition to a gaping wound in her neck and at least 80 stab wounds all over her body, according to Helen.

Helen said: “I remember waking up on this slab in the corner of the hospital.

“I didn’t think I would wake up.

“I just didn’t think I would survive it.”

According to reports, the subsequent court case heard almost no part of her body was uninjured in the attack.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard officers found Helen “covered in blood” and badly injured.

Prosecuting, Kerry Maylin said: “The victim’s hair was matted with blood and her clothes were blood-stained.

“The walls were heavily blood-stained also in the hallway and in the bathroom.

Police recovered two knives, a broken pair of scissors, the blade of a knife, a plank of wood and a corkscrew from the house in Bournemouth.

According to police Miss Midgley-Bryant shouted “He’s done this. He’s tried to kill me” as they entered the property.

Dowdle was originally charged with attempted murder but after pleading guilty his charge was downgraded to grievous bodily harm with intent.


The 38-year-old has previously served time for dragging an ex-girlfriend by her hair and threatening to throw her off a balcony.

Sentencing Judge Samuel Wiggs said Dowdle was a “high risk” to women with whom he is in a relationship.

“I have seen photographs of the flat in which the assault took place and it is no exaggeration to say it’s covered in blood and a scene of devastation,” he said.

“It is impossible to calculate how many injuries there are.”

Dowdle was ordered to spend eight years behind bars, with an extension of five years, during which he will be supervised.

The court also heard he had a history of beating women, and had previously been jailed for a year for attacking his ex.

It was said she thought she was going to die when he dragged her by the hair towards an open balcony on the second floor, saying many times, ‘You’re going over’.

But now authorities have since told Helen her attacker is eligible for parole in December 2019 – just after five years behind bars.

Helen has now launched a petition calling for a minimal sentence to be imposed to those who attack their partners at home.

She has PTSD and attends weekly counselling sessions.


She said: “I’m just absolutely terrified.

“He’s out in a few weeks.

“He’s beaten up a previous girlfriend too.

“This is the kind of person he is.

“I get flashbacks every single day.

“I haven’t left my house in five years.

“It was just really terrifying.

“I’m not even doing this for me.

“I think the whole system needs looking at.

“A woman’s life can change dramatically.

“He just sees it as throwing a few punches, spends a few years behind bars then he’s back out to seek his revenge.

“I’m a survivor not a victim.

“That’s why I want to help others.”

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