'10 days from death': UK father burnt, starved, stabbed by controlling girlfriend

Warning: This story contains content that may disturb some readers. 

A UK man who was violently abused by his now ex-girlfriend has revealed the extent of his horrific injuries for the first time in a new documentary. 

Alex Skeel, 22, was just "10 days from death" when police arrived at his home in June 2017.

In BBC's new documentary Abused By My Girlfriend, he has revealed how he was starved, stabbed with a bread knife, beaten and burnt with a kettle full of boiling water all at the hands of his then-girlfriend Jordan Worth. 

Worth was the first female in the UK to be convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour and grievous bodily harm. 

Alex, a football coach, was 16 when he met Jordan, his first girlfriend, through friends in June 2012.

"She was very caring, confident, loving," he said of Worth. "She just showed a real interest in me."

But it didn't take long for Worth's controlling behaviour to creep in. 

"She used to say things like 'I don't really like the colour grey, I don't think you should wear the colour grey'. 'Oh I don't like your hair like that, you should have your hair like this'.

"But I never took it as a negative. It was more like, 'I won't wear it again - it won't impress her'," he said in the new BBC documentary.

During one of the couple's rows, Worth snapped Alex's SIM card in half, ruining his 18th birthday celebrations with family and friends. 

The couple broke up, but then Worth dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant and had given birth to their son in May 2014. 

By January 2015, Worth had appeared to have changed with motherhood and the couple were back together. 

But again her true colours emerged. Worth cut off contact between Alex and his friends and family controlling his social media accounts and phone. She would send messages to them saying he hated them to try to isolate him. 

'10 days from death': UK father burnt, starved, stabbed by controlling girlfriend
Photo credit: BBC

Even when the couple had their second child a little girl, Iris, in May 2017, Alex hadn't spoken to his parents in two years. 

Worth lied to Alex about his grandad's death and let him believe he was dead for two hours before admitting she had lied. 

Alex says it got to a point where she was attacking or assaulting him each day and on one occassion she forced him to consume an entire packet of sleeping pills.

He says she attacked him with a broken hairbrush, breaking his tooth in the process, took his wallet, wouldn't allow him to work and forced him to come to her university lectures with her.

"I could feel that my body was starting to shut down. I didn't want [my son] to get hurt, so I was fighting to keep going because I didn't know what would happen if I was to leave," Alex said. 

She would hit him in the head and shins with a hammer and poured boiling water on his arms and back as he slept. 

"She would wait up all night with a kettle of boiling water and if it went cold she would just wait and reboil it," he recalled.

'10 days from death': UK father burnt, starved, stabbed by controlling girlfriend
Photo credit: Facebook/Jordan Worth

One night, she slashed his hand with a breadknife and police were called, not for the first time, after neighbours heard his plea for her to stop hurting him. 

He went to hospital to address the wounds on his badly burnt arm, but Worth came in and was with Alex at all times, and he never said anything to hospital staff. 

But a few days later, when police got a call from the couple's home, they took action. 

"As soon as I saw him in the light of day, the state of him in terms of countless injuries all over his body the fact that he had these horrible dirty clothes on... he was pale, thin. I thought ... he was being abused," Sergeant Ed Finn of Bedfordshire Police recalled. 

He was able to persuade Alex to reveal what was really going on - and arrested Worth on suspicion of assault and grievous bodily harm.

When Alex was taken to hospital, doctors told him he was only "10 days from death". 

Alex returned home to his family where he was reunited with his children and, in September 2017, Worth received 17 charges, including for grievous bodily harm and controlling coercive behaviour.

In April 2018, Worth was given two seven-year sentences for wounding with intent and grievous bodily harm.

She was also handed a consecutive sentence of six months for controlling or coercive behaviour, becoming the first female in the UK to be convicted of this charge.

"I was in love with Jordan and it took me a long time to have the courage to say she was abusing me," Alex said.

"The day that she [went] to prison, I felt so free. It was a massive relief. I remember just saying, 'I can actually look over my shoulder now for the first time in five years without worrying'.

"Now that I'm free from the relationship, I'm beginning to understand abuse better. And I hope I can help others understand it too."

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