Memory loss woman woke up in hospital with horrific injuries to discover boyfriend caused them

Emily wants to raise awareness of what she has been through -Credit:John Myers
Emily wants to raise awareness of what she has been through -Credit:John Myers

WARNING: Contains pitcures showing graphic injury detail

Emily Lewis woke up in hospital to find terrible injuries on her face and without a clue about the events that landed her there. Her world then imploded when a nurse announced: “Your boyfriend did it.”

For three years, Emily had been involved with Thomas Jones before he beat her and strangled her while high on cocaine and alcohol. On that fateful night, between February 18-19 last year, Emily was left with a severe head injury – 8cm long and 4cm wide – that was so deep it reached her skull. Jones also fractured Emily’s cheekbone and left her with bruising all over her face and body.

With 19 stitches and extensive bruising, her face was left yellow and green. They healed but the emotional scars will last a lifetime. Jones, previously without any convictions, has since found himself behind bars after being sentenced at Swansea Crown Court. It’s thought the injuries were caused by an Alexa device.

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Determined to raise awareness about domestic violence and its aftermath, Emily summoned the courage to share her story. Now aged 24 and hailing from Neath, she said: “I am speaking out because I want to help other women. No matter how minimal what someone has done to you you should always report it because it could help others. I want to empower women to get these people convicted,” reports Wales Online.

Emily opened up about her three-year relationship with Jones and how it ended in violence. Reflecting on the past, she said: “During our relationship he was never massively aggressive to me. In the year leading up to it, I thought he had a drinking problem because he would go out all the time and come home late and then have a go at me. There were traits of negative behaviour towards me but nothing like this. I wouldn’t have described it as a toxic relationship.”

On February 18, 2023, Emily said the pair had gone out with friends to Wind Street in Swansea with friends, enjoying a night of singing and dancing. But things took a dark turn when they switched venues and Jones’ demeanour changed drastically.

“I believe he got kicked out of that venue,” Emily recalled. “I was outside with him trying to calm him down and it started from there. The North Wales Live Whatsapp community for top stories and breaking news is live now - here’s how to sign up

“He was calling me names, calling me a c***, telling me to f*** off, and telling me to go away while I was trying to defuse the situation. We went into another place and he got kicked out of there.”

Deep head injury on Emily
Her head injury reached the bone -Credit:Emily Lewis

Although her recollection is hazy due to her injuries, a smart doorbell captured a heated exchange between Emily and Jones outside their home. It showed how he became belligerent over a lost house key, pinning the blame on her.

Emily, who still experiences flashbacks about the night, said: “I don’t remember much from when we got home because of the head injury I later sustained. I remember something briefly being said about house keys because he couldn’t find them and he was saying I had them when I remember he had them.”

Her memory then flashed back to her recalling feeling him choking her to the extent that she struggled to breathe: “Next I remember being inside the house and I remember him strangling me to the point where I couldn’t breathe. I could feel myself drifting in and out of consciousness. I was trying to kick him off me but I’m small compared to him so I wasn’t able to.”

Looking back on the terrible incident, her most vivid recollection is the unbearable pain she encountered: “While I was on the floor he was [punching] me repeatedly to the point where I was in so much pain I told him to kill me because I couldn’t stand it any more.” Recalling the harrowing moment, Emily added: “I was hurting everywhere. He had battered me all over.”

Emily with head injuries and some of her hair missing
Emily had part of her head shaved -Credit:Emily Lewis

The court heard that Emily made around 10 desperate calls to her mother for help. When her mother arrived at the scene, it emerged Jones had struck her too, causing her nose to bleed. Police turned up at the scene while Emily’s mum took her to Morriston Hospital in Swansea. The court heard how Jones continued to scream abuse at the car as they drove off.

“I signed myself into A&E and they saw me straight away,” Emily said. “They took me straight into resus and I don’t remember much more of that night. I remember waking up at around 9am the next morning and I didn’t know what was going on.”

“I was in a hospital gown and my phone was dead. I was pumped full of painkillers like morphine but I could still feel the pain. I woke up in absolute agony.”

Emily's bruised face
The aftermath of Emily's injuries -Credit:Emily Lewis

As Emily asked the nurse to charge her phone she said she was horrified to catch a glimpse of her injuries on the phone camera. She was even more horrified to learn how she sustained them.

She said: “I saw the state I was in. My head was shaved, I had stitches in my head, and my face was swollen up like a balloon. I threw my phone because I was in so much shock and I didn’t know who did it. I asked the nurse and she told me it was my boyfriend.”

“I was shocked and traumatised when I found out he did this. My life completely changed in one night. The day before we were fine and now I haven’t spoken to him since.” Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

Nobody knows exactly how Jones caused the deep wound on Emily’s forehead. However the prosecution said it was most likely to have been caused by an Alexa screen found with blood splatters on it. Emily still has a visible scar and no feeling in the area as well as issues with balance and memory.

She said: “I have an appointment with brain injury aftercare because I repeat myself constantly, my balance is off, and I have started having migraines. My balance is particularly bad – I can’t walk in a straight line.”

During the sentencing hearing prosecutor Alycia Carpanini told Judge Paul Thomas KC how Jones had previously pleaded not guilty and only changed his plea to guilty to charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm and battery a matter of minutes before his trial was due to begin in July. She said aggravating features of the case include the fact Jones was high on drugs and alcohol at the time of the incident as well as the fact he attacked Emily in a domestic setting.

Addressing Jones, who sat in the dock wearing a blue suit and pale blue tie, Emily bravely read out her victim impact statement. She told the court how she now suffers from insomnia and feelings of terror whenever she looks in the mirror and is reminded of what Jones did to her.

“I am a survivor,” she said. “I have a scar that reminds me of how strong I will become. You haven’t taken away my will to live. You haven’t broken my spirit. This scar is a constant reminder of what happened but it does not define my future. I can’t bear the thought of this happening to someone else.”

Thomas Jones
Thomas Jones

Stuart Tupin, mitigating, told Judge Thomas how Jones was of clean character with no previous convictions and is employed. He added: “He is certainly getting to the point of facing what he did that night. I’m not saying he is there yet but he is now recognising the impact his actions had.”

Mr Tupin said the defendant had used cocaine a number of times in the past but had never reacted like this. He said Valium was also found in Jones’ system that night, but the defendant maintains he did not take Valium and believes it must have been added in the bag of drugs he used alongside alcohol. Although Mr Tupin said the use of drugs was never condoned he offered it as a possible explanation. He said Jones had booked an appointment with the Welsh Centre for Action on Dependency and Addiction.

Judge Thomas sentenced Jones to 18 months in prison for his actions towards Emily. He was also handed a two-month term to run concurrently for battery following his actions towards Emily’s mother.

He will serve half this sentence in prison before being released on licence. A restraining order will also prevent him from making any contact with Emily for the next three years.

Addressing the defendant Judge Thomas said: “This offence is simply too serious to justify anything other than immediate custody. A message has to go out to people, particularly men, that prison will be the inevitable outcome.”

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