Watch: Domestic abuse victim reveals shocking pictures of injuries at hands of ex-husband
A woman has released shocking photos of her injuries after her ex-husband attacked her with a hammer and a screwdriver.
Anna Butt was left bruised and covered in blood after she was assaulted by Alec Butt, 71, in Bristol on 28 December 2019.
He was jailed for seven years and nine months at Bristol Crown Court on Monday.
In a personal statement read out in court, Anna said she feared the man she was married to for 18 years would kill her, adding: “I was absolutely terrified.”
She agreed for police to release photos of her injuries in a bid to raise awareness for domestic abuse and encourage victims to speak out.
Before attacking her, Butt hid behind bins near her work, covering his face with a hood to hide his identity.
He then pushed her up against a wall and attacked her with the weapons, inflicting significant injuries to her head, arms and hands.
Anna said she didn’t know who was attacking her until she pulled down his hood as she tried to fight him off.
She told the court: ''Throughout the attack, despite my constant attempts to fight back and disarm my attacker, I was thinking that I was going to die in that car park.
“I distinctly remember during the incident that I kept seeing my children’s faces before my eyes and also my parents.”
She also said: “When I realised that it was Alec when I pulled his hood down, it confirmed what I already knew; I had been married to Alec for 18 years and I had real fears that he would do something like this.”
A passer-by called the police at which point Butt fled the scene and he was arrested about 90 minutes later.
Anna was then taken to hospital where she was treated for her injuries, which healed over time.
She told the court about the trauma that the attack has left her with, saying: “There are days where my anxiety is so high that I can’t face leaving the house.”
Meanwhile, Butt has continued to deny responsibility for the attack, claiming at trial that he acted in self-defence.
But in March, he was found guilty of assault causing grievous bodily harm by jurors.
Watch: Domestic abuse is the world's hidden pandemic
During the sentencing, Judge James Patrick dismissed Butt’s self-defence claims.
He said the jury had seen through Butt’s lies and the remorse shown since conviction rang ‘hollow’ as a result.
Afterwards, Anna thanked the police for their support during the investigation as well as her friends and family.
“Those who stayed true to me when I was in huge emotional turmoil was a tower of strength,” she said in a statement.
“I would encourage anyone suffering domestic abuse to reach out to the police for help. They will support you and you are not alone.”
PC Nina Foster, the officer in the case, also said: “It’s hard to put into words how courageous Anna and her whole family have been to get us to this position.
“To say today’s sentencing marks the end of this chapter for them would be to downplay the seriousness of what has happened.
''But we hope it does bring some comfort to them that this dangerous man is safely behind bars.
“The photographs of the injuries Anna sustained will shock and appal people. But the mental and emotional scars that domestic abuse cases are often hidden and yet can be both more painful and longer-lasting.
“Alec Butt is a violent abuser. His terrifying actions are inexcusable and have rightly seen him sent to prison.
“We hope today’s result and the bravery shown by Anna encourages other victims to contact police or to seek support from a trusted friend or relative. You will be believed and we can help make you safe.”
Domestic abuse can be reported on 101, or 999 if it's an emergency but you can also dial 55 if victims feel it isn’t safe to speak.
If you are a victim or know someone you suspect is, for advice and support visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org
Watch: NHS encourages people to seek help if they are victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault