A police officer who locked a young dad ‘days from death’ in his patrol car and saved him from his evil girlfriend has revealed how he acted on gut instinct.
Sergeant Ed Finn, from Bedfordshire Police, rescued Alex Skeel from the clutches of violent bully Jordan Worth after seeing through her disturbing lies.
The officer was the first person to coax the truth out of vulnerable Alex, now 23, who was starved, beaten and abused by the woman who claimed to love him.
He had endured months of being attacked with boiling water, knives and a hammer. But the sickening campaign of abuse finally came to an end in July 2017 – when Sgt Finn intervened.
The officer had been called to the couple’s home, which they shared with their two young children, after a neighbour called 999 reporting he could hear a vicious row coming from inside.
He said a male voice was pleading "I’m sorry, it’s not my fault" followed by "get off me, leave me alone. Stop hurting me".
When Sgt Finn and a colleague arrived and hammered on the door, well-spoken and polite fine art graduate Worth calmly answered.
"She didn’t look dishevelled or anything," said Sgt Finn. "She said straight away there’s been a problem and Alex has hurt himself."
The officers went inside and found a frail Alex sat on the stairs with a towel wrapped around his arm.
There was "blood everywhere," according to Sgt Finn, including a massive puddle in the bathroom sink captured on his bodycam .
In another room a large knife was discovered lying on the floor. The pair claimed Alex had used it to cut his wrists.
Sgt Finn said: "She [Worth] was explaining how Alex suffered from a medical condition that caused him to have bouts of self-harm."
The officer noticed a number of other injuries on Alex but "calm and rational" explanations were given and Sgt Finn left while Alex went to hospital.
However Sgt Finn wasn’t quite convinced and knew something was amiss.
The next day he tried to track Alex down, but couldn’t get hold of him.
Then a few days later, another incident was reported at Alex and Worth’s home and Sgt Finn immediately volunteered to respond.
As soon as he saw Alex in the light of day looking gaunt, in dirty clothes with multiple injuries, it dawned on him that the young man was in grave danger.
Sgt Finn said: "He was pale, thin. I thought ‘this is what I think it is, he’s being abused’".
Incredibly concerned, Sgt Finn took Alex upstairs away from Worth to talk.
But Alex, so blinded by love and terrified of the repercussions if he told the truth, denied he had been assaulted and insisted "it was just arguing".
Sgt Finn repeatedly tried to build a rapport and coax the truth out of Alex, but he continued to stick to his story and said he had caused the injuries himself.
The officer refused to give up fearing for Alex’s life and persuaded him that they should go to hospital together.
Once inside his police car, Sgt Finn locked Alex in and told him ‘we’re not leaving here until you tell me the truth, you need help, she needs help and your children need help’.
Alex, again, protested he was causing the injuries himself.
Becoming increasingly desperate, Sgt Finn knew he needed to try a different tactic.
He turned his bodycam off and straight away Alex came clean.
"Yes it was her," he bravely confessed.
Alex later admitted: "All the horrible truth came out. My injuries were so severe by that point, and I was so gaunt after all the weight loss.
"I’d denied everything up until that point. But I couldn’t go on any longer.
"If the police hadn’t intervened at that precise moment, I’d be in the ground. There’s no doubt about it."
Worth was arrested on suspicion of assault.
In April 2018, she was jailed for seven and a half years after she pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and coercive and controlling behaviour.
The animal-loving aspiring teacher became the first female in the UK to be convicted of such behaviour.
A court heard how Worth used knives and a hammer to subject him to abuse so horrendous doctors said he was days from death.
She banned him from her bed, decided what clothes he could wear, isolated him from friends and family and took over his Facebook account.
Worth, who came from a "loving and supportive family", even withheld food from him, causing his weight to plummet from 10 stone to just seven.
Alex’s abuse was one of the most extreme cases of domestic violence Bedfordshire Police had ever dealt with.
Ambulance staff wrote that injuries to his hand and burns to his arms and legs had been self-treated with cling film resulting in second and third-degree burns.
Alex, who has been reunited with his family and now works as a football coach, has gone on to hail Sgt Finn as his ‘life saver’.
Since the hard-hitting BBC documentary on Alex’s ordeal called Abused By My Girlfriend was aired, Sgt Finn has been inundated with messages of praise.
But the modest officer insisted: "Alex Skeel saved himself with his bravery… I just locked him in my car until he got the courage!"
Alex’s grandfather, Gerald Cockings, has also showered Sgt Finn with love.
He told him: "I will say it again, if it wasn’t for your insight and ability to see through Alex’s defence that he was ok. HE WOULD NOT BE HERE NOW. our family will forever be grateful.
"As a Christian I am convinced that this officer was sent from the Lord to save him."
Abused By My Girlfriend is available on BBC iPlayer now.
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