Peterborough man jailed for 'abhorrent and horrific' abuse of girlfriend - including choking her until she passed out

Wayne Shillingford-Swaby jailed for nine years for campaign of abuse

By Stephen Briggs
Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:16 pm
Updated Friday, 27th May 2022, 4:28 pm

A man who scratched his girlfriend’s face with a knife, choked her until she passed out and made her act as his domestic servant has been jailed.

The “abhorrent and horrific” abuse by Wayne Shillingford-Swaby, 37, only came to light after his victim managed to make her own way to Peterborough City Hospital.

A member of the public called police after the woman shouted for him to help her on 25 May, 2020. She seemed to be deliberately trying to hide her face by wearing glasses, but when the man got closer, he noticed the bruising.

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Wayne Shillingford-Swaby

Victim had broken rib and fractured eye socket

Medical checks revealed she also had an old broken rib and a fractured eye socket.

The woman told police Shillingford-Swaby had scratched her face with a knife and choked her until she lost consciousness.

One evening he returned home late and forced her to put a pillow over her face and keep it there with her arms over her head, while he beat her stomach with an unknown heavy weapon. If she turned her head or flinched, he carried on hitting her.

The next day Shillingford-Swaby placed his hand around her neck and then a few days later assaulted her in a car by wrapping the seatbelt around her neck, making it hard for her to breath, and punching her to the face.

The woman also confided in officers that Shillingford-Swaby was coercively controlling and forced her to act as a domestic servant.

She said she would be made to kneel on the floor with her hands up in the air until she had pins and needles and was in pain. He would also force her to smile during arguments and practice smiling in front of the mirror if she cried at him.

Shillingford-Swaby denied offences in police interview – but jurors saw through his lies

In police interview Shillingford-Swaby, of Holdich Street, Peterborough, denied the allegations. However, after a trial at Peterborough Crown Court in February, jurors found him guilty of five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and one count of coercive and controlling behaviour.

He was jailed for a total of nine years today.

‘No remorse’

Judge Sean Enright said Shillingford-Swaby had committed, “repeated assaults, sustained in a cruel way not often seen in this court”, and had shown no remorse.

DC George Coxon, who investigated, was awarded a judge’s commendation for his work on the case.

He said: “This case involved some of the worst domestic violence myself or my detective sergeant had ever dealt with. What Shillingford-Swaby did to this woman was abhorrent and horrific, and no-one deserves to be treated in this way.

“I would like to thank the member of the public outside the hospital who showed incredible kindness by helping the victim when she had fled a desperate situation and needed it the most.

“Shillingford-Swaby’s behaviour was cowardly and despicable, and I urge anyone experiencing any kind of domestic abuse to contact us, or our partners – there are lots of different ways that we can help you and your family to stay safe.”

More information about domestic abuse and how we can help can be found on the dedicated pages of Cambridge Police’s website: