The sick, grotesque messages of a monster who beat and raped his victim and forced her into a dog cage

"You've got options here now to help yourself. Help me to help you because I can't control myself, like you already know. I'm not turning around, nothing is going to stop me. So ring me now, while I'm still calm, before I'm losing my head".

"Remember, actions are reactions"..."This is the last time I am going to stay calm"..."I mean it now, I'm not playing games"..."I promise you, I'm not messing around"..."You think you're clever do you blocking my phone number, blocking me on Facebook, blocking me on Snapchat. I'm shaking now, remember this later, just you wait."

These are just some of the threatening voice messages Connor Jay McLachlan sent his partner before turning up to her house and subjecting her to a violent tirade of abuse. This was a regular occurrence. On several occasions he forced his way into her property.

Read more: 'Jealous' man drags partner by hair, breaks her ribs and threatens to 'f*** you up every time I see you'

Read more: The sickening domestic abuse epidemic gripping Wales by those who survived

Every time she tried to end her relationship with him he would bombard her with messages, turn up at her door, refuse to take no for an answer, spread messages about her on social media. Despite the physical, emotional, and sexual violence, for his victim, who is anonymous for legal reasons, his constant manipulation and control meant "It was easier to live with the abuse than have the backlash of him. It was easier to just shut up."

Connor Jay McLachlan was sentenced to over 13 years in prison -Credit:South Wales Police
Connor Jay McLachlan was sentenced to over 13 years in prison -Credit:South Wales Police

McLachlan isolated her from her family and friends, encouraged her to move to an area away from her support systems, and blamed her for the violence he inflicted on her. He made her believe it was her fault that he couldn't control himself, that it was her fault that he would beat and rape her, that she deserved to be forced to act like a dog and be spat on.

It was only after a traumatic incident where she lost a baby while pregnant and McLachlan screamed at her that she decided she couldn't put up with the abuse any more. She successfully cut him off for two weeks but the day she returned to her home he turned up and tried to force his way in. "That’s when I reported it then because I thought ‘he’s going to kill me’." Mclachlan was arrested in September 2023.

The victim was abused phycisally, emotionally and sexually by McLachlan -Credit:Media Wales
The victim was abused phycisally, emotionally and sexually by McLachlan -Credit:Media Wales

Mclachlan, 28, from Port Talbot, crushed his victim's self esteem so much that she was convinced he would be acquitted of all charges against him. Instead he was found guilty at Swansea Crown Court of 11 charges against her, ranging from damaging her property to rape.

He was found guilty of:

  • Controlling or coercive behaviour

  • Intentional strangulation

  • Four counts of damaging property

  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm

  • Sending letter to cause distress

  • Two counts of sexual assault

  • Rape

He was found not guilty of two counts of intentional strangulation and rape. On April 25, 2024 he was handed an extended sentence of 13 years and three months. Over a decade of this must be spent behind bars. He was also handed a rare lifetime restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his victim.

Despite a decade behind bars ahead of him, his victim says she still feels terrified of her former partner. "I don’t sleep because of it, my anxiety is awful. I keep getting flashbacks. I am [still scared], I know when he says something he means it. Even now he is in jail he’s told people he will wait until he is out."

As well as physical violence, Mclachlan was convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour, something his former partner started almost immediately. "He started controlling me straight away. He’d take my phone, reply to my friends' messages or message people so that we wouldn’t speak. To be honest I didn’t really notice it in the beginning. Other people would tell me things about him and I would brush it off."

"I think you just learn to live with it. It got worse when I moved here because I was out of the way of everyone, I didn’t have any friends, and I wasn't allowed to see anyone. He’d take my phone for hours at a time, go through anything to find something to have a go at me.

"He completely isolated me. If I wasn’t with him he would ring me non stop and I’d have to answer him. I'd have to answer him straight away. If I didn’t he would come here kicking off so I would have to put the children in bed so they wouldn’t see it."

His victim alleges one of the physical attacks even happened in public. "He beat me up one night after we had been out drinking. He dragged me by my hair, strangled me, I thought he was going to kill me in the lane by my house. He didn’t care about being in public." She then says he strangled her and destroyed her house before forcing her to get in his car while he was drunk and taking him to his grandmothers house where he raped her.

"It was always that I pushed him. At one point he had a machete to my hair and said he was going to kill me. He just wanted more and more from me. He took my phone and keys off me and hid them so I couldn’t leave. I did try to get out of the window but he dragged me back in. When we went to bed then that’s when that [rape] happened."

After one violent incident, she was forced to walk home to her property covered in bruises and with ripped clothes and no phone, "It was humiliating. He could have taken me but he wanted the humiliation of that." She said that he would constantly threaten to harm or kill her, and would "look" for an argument. Join our WhatsApp news community here for the latest breaking news

"He’d cause arguments which would turn into violence, he would look for it. He was very hot headed." In videos seen by WalesOnline which we have seen but have decided not to share in order to protect the victim's location, Mclachlan can be seen ripping her ring doorbell camera off the wall and smashing it. On voice notes he can be heard screaming aggressively at her. He can be heard shouting that she has options 'to help herself' from his abuse by complying.

"He would say ‘ this is why I’m doing this because I love you’. Nobody understands until you’re in that situation. So many times I tried to leave but he wouldn’t allow it. If I didn’t answer him or blocked him he’d be at the door. If I was out he would find me. I was stuck and trapped.

"He wanted to kill me. It was always the same eyes and I’ve even got a scar now. And he bit my nose so I have a scar there. My whole body was covered, he ripped all my hair out.

"It got to the point where it was every other day to every day. He would put me in the kitchen and make me act like a dog. He would spit on me and put me in the cage and treat me like a dog." She said that her injuries meant she would rarely leave the house and on times she did it was only to take her children to school, "I’d run the kids to school and come straight back and that was my day. I couldn’t take the children to school when I was black and blue. I was lying to everyone."

In March a five day trial was held in Swansea Crown Court where a jury convicted Mclachlan which the victim said was "petrifying". "It traumatised me so much. I went to the court behind a board because I didn’t want to see his face but I wanted the jury to see how small I was compared to him because he kept saying ‘she did this, this etc’. It was scary being in the same room as him, I didn’t want to be anywhere near him."

She said that Mclachlan was laughing from the dock, 'The judge said you've taken no accountability, you've got no remorse.'." Speaking of the verdict she said, "I was quite gobsmacked, because he put so much blame on me I thought he would get away with it.

"He’s knocked so much confidence out of me.The amount of self doubt and lack of confidence i have. I think if she didn’t come to my house that day I’d still be crying in the corner.

"I just want people to know who he is and what he is and to prevent this from happening to anyone else. And because I need to get over it as well and I need to realise that it wasn’t my fault. I want to help other people too."