Brave survivor of ‘evil’ domestic violence urges women to speak out

·3-min read
Greater Manchester Police are urging victims of domestic violence to contact them (PA) (PA Archive)
Greater Manchester Police are urging victims of domestic violence to contact them (PA) (PA Archive)

A woman who survived “evil” domestic abuse has urged others suffering to speak out after her tormentor was jailed for 25 years.

The abuse Angela Wright suffered, as one of Steven Blades’ three victims, began in the 1980s, a court heard.

The violence included breaking one victim’s leg by jumping on it and placing a gun in the mouth of a woman.

He would also use boiling water and an iron as weapons, stub cigarettes out on his victims and use sexual violence to torture them.

Blades, of Clarksfield Road, Oldham was jailed for 25 years on December 3.

He was found guilty by a jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court of making threats to kill, two counts of grievous bodily harm, seven counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, indecent assault, two counts of rape, cruelty to a person under 16 years old, and controlling and coercive behaviour.

Ms Wright is helping a campaign by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to encourage other victims of domestic abuse to speak out.

She said: “There is justice at the end of it. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was.

“I started my journey over 38 years ago and I am here now, and I’ve finally got justice.

“Don’t carry on in silence.

“Get the strength to pick up the phone or even an email or speak to somebody – one of your friends, speak to somebody. I kept it all to myself.

“Just speak to somebody so that it does get reported and the person does get brought to justice.”

The injuries and torrent of abuse that Blades directed at these poor women was horrendous and nothing short of evil

Detective Constable Heather Yarker, GMP

Detective Constable Heather Yarker, of GMP’s Oldham district, said: “The injuries and torrent of abuse that Blades directed at these poor women was horrendous and nothing short of evil.

“The level of abuse experienced by these women is incomprehensible.

“This case highlights the extent of violence that can occur behind closed doors and thankfully today we have been able to remove a dangerous individual from our streets and potentially stop any further harm being inflicted on women.”

Sophie Rozdolskyj, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “Steven Blades is an extremely dangerous man who has used every form of torture to terrify and control women over many years.

“We would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the women he abused for coming forward and supporting this prosecution.

“Their actions as survivors of this sadistic man will keep many others safe.”

Police say anyone concerned about someone can use an online reporting facility or use the LiveChat facility on GMP’s website, call 101, get help at https://www.gmvictims.org.uk/ or call 0161 200 1950.

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