A father-of-two has told how his ex girlfriend attacked him with ‘weapons’ including a hammer, a screwdriver, kitchen knives and a broken hairbrush in a nine-month campaign of domestic abuse that left him days from death.
Alex Skeel, 22, from Bedfordshire has revealed the extent of his horrific injuries for the first time in a BBC documentary that tells how he was violently assaulted, stabbed and burnt by the mother of his two children.
In April 2018 Jordan Worth became the first female in the UK to be convicted of controlling or coercive behaviour, and Alex now hopes to raise awareness of domestic violence against men.
Alex was told he was ‘ten days from death’ when police arrested and subsequently jailed Jordan, after his untreated burns became infected and he developed hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid on the brain, from being repeatedly struck on the head.
He relives his horrific ordeal in new BBC Three documentary Abused By My Girlfriend, which reveals in harrowing detail how he went from a carefree teenager to being hit, stabbed and burnt with boiling water.
Alex Skeel pictured with former girlfriend Jordan Worth, who last year pleaded guilty to controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship
Alex shows off the horrific burn marks (left) and cuts on his legs (right) after he was violently assaulted by his girlfriend between 2016 and 2017. She was jailed last year
Alex returned home to his family (pictured recovering in bed) and, in September 2017, Jordan was charged with 17 counts including GBH and controlling coercive behaviour
Alex was a football-mad 16-year-old when he first met Jordan at a concert in June 2012 and soon became besotted with her.
‘She was very caring, confident, loving,’ he says of the aspiring teacher. ‘She just showed a real interest in me.’
Despite friends describing Jordan as ‘delightful’ and her boyfriend as ‘quite smitten’, Alex’s mother Ged says it wasn’t long before her behaviour took a dark turn.
‘The longer they were together, and as the relationship grew, the mind games started playing,’ Ged recalls.
Alex adds: ‘[Jordan would] say, I don’t really like the colour grey, I don’t think you should wear the colour grey.
‘I don’t like your hair like that, you should have your hair like this. I don’t like the shoes you’re wearing. But I never took it as a negative. It was more like, I won’t wear it again – it won’t impress her.’
Alex at the police station in June 2017, after police swooped in and arrested his long-term girlfriend. The court heard how Jordan Worth attacked him with screwdrivers and hammers
Alex being interviewed in June 2017. In his interview, when asked by an officer how he felt about moving forward, he replied: ‘I just don’t want to get hurt anymore’
On one occasion, Alex’s family treated her to a night at the theatre in London, only for her to disappear from the hotel in the middle of the night, sparking a frantic search, before reappearing in the hotel lobby an hour later, ‘just laughing’.
Or the time she ruined Alex’s 18th birthday party by ‘screaming abuse’ at a female family friend who she had grown jealous of.
But despite her erratic behaviour, Alex brushed off his family and friends’ growing concerns, admitting: ‘I was a bit clouded by what happened because at the time I loved her.’
Alex eventually tried to break things off, but Jordan came back with the bombshell revelation that she was pregnant and returned to his life a year later with baby Thomas J (‘TJ’) who was born in May 2014.
It wasn’t long before the young couple were back together and, despite Alex’s hopes that she had changed, the cracks soon reappeared.
Alex and Jordan as teenagers. Despite Alex’s friends describing Jordan as ‘delightful’ and her boyfriend as ‘quite smitten’, Alex’s mother Ged says it wasn’t long before her behaviour ‘started to change’
Alex tried to break things off, but Jordan came back with the bombshell revelation that she was pregnant and returned to his life a year later with baby Thomas J (‘TJ’), pictured
Alex’s best friend explains: ‘[Jordan] just got back into his head to the point where you couldn’t do anything to stop it.’
Before long, Jordan forced Alex to choose between her and his family, which resulted in the young couple moving into their own home in Stewartby, Bedfordshire in July 2016.
Just 19 at the time, Alex didn’t speak to his parents for two years – even when the couple welcomed their second child, a little girl called Iris, in May 2017.
Things went from bad to worse when Jordan forced her boyfriend to change his phone number and threw away his PlayStation console to cut him off further from his loved ones.
She even set up a Facebook account in Alex’s name where she would send abusive messages to his friends in a bid to isolate him further.
Alex was hospitalised after officers found he had been violently attacked with injuries including a deep scar on his wrist (pictured)
Alex required stitches in his hand after he was attacked by a knife (pictured) but despite needing surgery, his girlfriend ‘walked him out of hospital’, the father-of-two recalled
Years later, when police questioned Jordan, she would blame it on Alex, saying: ‘He made it very clear he never wanted to see his family.
‘He said he hated his family and he doesn’t want to talk to his family. He wants nothing to do with his family.’
In time, Jordan became so controlling she took Alex’s wallet away, forcing him to quit the job he loved and instead accompany her to classes at the University of Hertfordshire where she could keep a watchful eye on him.
Alex claims things deteriorated to the point where his girlfriend would attack or assault him ‘every day’, and on one occasion she made him swallow an entire packet of sleeping pills.
During one attack, Jordan severed the tendons in his right hand with a bread knife, on another occasion she attacked him with a broken hairbrush, breaking his tooth in the process.
‘I had no money, I didn’t drive, so in the end I just ripped the tooth out,’ Alex says, recalling how being struck with screwdrivers, hammers and knives became part of everyday life.
Alex’s heartbroken family rallied round him after police intervened and arrested Jordan (he is pictured here recovering at his family home in Bedfordshire)
‘I’d be asleep and she’d smack me in the head and I’d look in the mirror and I’d just be bleeding,’ he says. ‘I wasn’t eating properly, she didn’t let me. She made him sleep on the floor instead of the bed.
‘I could feel that my body was starting to shut down. I didn’t want [my son] to get hurt, so I was fighting to keep going because I didn’t know what would happen if I was to leave.’
A kettle full of boiling water became Jordan’s weapon of choice, leaving her boyfriend screaming in pain as the skin hung off his arms and back.
‘She would wait up all night with a kettle of boiling water and if it went cold she would just wait and reboil it,’ he recalls.
A few days after one such attack, Jordan slashed her boyfriend’s hand with a breadknife and police were called, not for the first time, by their worried neighbours who heard Alex shouting, ‘Leave me alone, stop hurting me’.
Sgt. Ed Finn of Bedfordshire Police was on the scene and remembers how, despite there being ‘blood everywhere’, the couple both insisted that Alex’s numerous injuries were self-inflicted.
Alex didn’t speak to his parents for two years – even when he welcomed his second child, a little girl called Iris, in May 2017 (pictured together following Jordan’s arrest)
Alex is reunited with his grandfather after being isolated from his family for two years – during which time his girlfriend Jordan Worth told him that his beloved granddad was ‘dead’
Officers took Alex to hospital to fix his badly burnt arm, but Jordan came in and ‘walked him out of the hospital’ despite the attempts of the surgeon – who could sense something was wrong – to make him stay.
‘It’s strange, because it was the right time and the right place but I didn’t say anything,’ Alex recalls. ‘I kept saying I did it to myself. I was scared of what she was going to do.’
But a few days later, when Sgt. Finn got a call from the couple’s address, he seized the opportunity to take action.
He recalls: ‘As soon as I saw him in the light of day, the state of him in terms of countless injuries all over his body the fact that he had these horrible dirty clothes on… he was pale, thin. I thought […] he was being abused.’
Jordan seemed ‘very slight, well spoken, very polite, to all intents and purposes a very nice lady,’ he recalls.
The court heard Worth and her partner had met at college in 2012 when they were both 16 (the couple are pictured together before the relationship turned violent)
Worth with baby TJ. Despite Alex’s friends describing Jordan as ‘delightful’ and her boyfriend as ‘quite smitten’, Alex’s mother Ged says it wasn’t long before her behaviour ‘started to change
One day Jordan attacked Alex with a broken hairbrush, breaking his tooth in the process. With no money and no car, Alex ‘ripped’ the tooth off (pictured)
Despite his protests, Sgt. Finn was able to persuade Alex to tell the reveal what was really going on – and finally arrest Jordan on suspicion of assault and grievous bodily harm (GBH).
He was taken to Bedford Hospital’s acute clinical unit and then to Addenbrookes Hospital.
When they managed to get Alex to hospital, doctors said he was just ‘ten days from death’ in his physical state, by which point his burns had become infected.
Bodycam footage and police tapes from the day he was rescued show the 21-year-old looking alarmingly frail, covered with bruises and dressed in bloodstained clothes, unable to make eye contact.
In his interview, when asked by an officer how he feels about moving forward, he replies: ‘I just don’t want to get hurt anymore.’
Alex returned home to his family where he was reunited with his children and, in September 2017, Jordan was charged with 17 counts including wounding with intent, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship.
Alex now coaches a football team sponsored by a domestic abuse charity and talks to professionals to help them spot the signs of abuse
Alex returned home to his family where he was reunited with his children (pictured) and, in September 2017, Jordan was charged with 17 counts and jailed for more than seven years
On 13 April 2018 Jordan was given two seven-year sentences for wounding with intent and GBH to be served concurrently at Luton Crown Court.
She was also handed a consecutive sentence of six months for controlling or coercive behaviour, becoming the first female in the UK to be convicted of this charge.
‘When the police found me I was told I was ten days away from death,’ says Alex. ‘I was in love with Jordan and it took me a long time to have the courage to say she was abusing me.
Men make up more than a third of the victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales each year
‘The day that she [went] to prison I felt so free. It was a massive relief. I remember just saying, I can actually look over my shoulder now for the first time in five years without worrying.
‘Now that I’m free from the relationship, I’m beginning to understand abuse better. And I hope I can help others understand it too.’
Alex now coaches a football team sponsored by a domestic abuse charity and talks to professionals to help them spot the signs of abuse.
‘The memories will never leave me,’ he says, ‘but I’m learning how to cope.
‘I have so much support from my friends and family and I’m building a future for me and my kids.’
A recent study by ONS found that men make up more than a third of the 1.9million victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales each year.
Abused By My Girlfriend is available on BBC iPlayer now and airs on BBC One at 22.45 on Tuesday 19 February
Abuse that saw Jordan Worth jailed for more than seven years
Aspiring teacher Jordan Worth had a degree from the University of Hertfordshire, had come from a loving and supportive family, and had raised money for children in Africa.
But during her trial in April 2018, Luton Crown Court heard she cruelly controlled every aspect of her partner’s life.
The court heard Worth and her partner had met at college in 2012 when they were both 16.
Prosecutor Maryam Syed said a relationship began and later they moved in together but from an early stage she was exercising control over him deciding what he could wear.
Sgt. Ed Finn of Bedfordshire Police who arrested Jordan (pictured at her graduation) said that for ‘all intents and purposes she seemed like a very nice lady’
But the prosecutor said worse was to come as she became violent towards the man, who the court heard suffered from hydrocephalus which is caused by a buildup of fluid inside the skull which made him vulnerable.
She used blunt objects to strike him, wounded him with a knife and didn’t help him get to hospital for treatment.
For nine months he couldn’t sleep in the same bed as her, the court was told.
Worth pleaded guilty to controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent between April 2016 to June 2017.