Now in case you’re somewhat exhausted by the horrific news of today – I know I am – here’s a little change of pace. A win for the Men’s Rights movement, perhaps, or just an example of domestic harmony restored.
A mum battered and slashed to within an inch of her life by her jealous ex-fiance has been threatened with jail if she refuses to write to him in prison.
Horrified Natalie Allman, 29, has been ordered by a judge to send letters three times a year to brutal Jason Hughes who tortured her for seven hours in front of their twin sons.
Under parental rights laws, Natalie is being forced to send updates on the five-year-olds along with photos.
The boys were just two when they saw their father batter their mum with his weight-lifting dumbbells, slash her throat with an Army knife and try to suffocate her with a pillow.
Ok but they’re still his kids, right, so of course the other parent should keep him updated on what they’re doing. The fact that he nearly killed her in front of them is neither here nor there.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and he was kneeling over me, beating me repeatedly in the face.
“At first I thought he was punching me and then I realised he was using his weights.
“He was smashing them into my face over and over. There was blood everywhere but he didn’t stop.
“It was midnight and then the next thing I knew I was coming round and it was 3am. I don’t know whether I fell asleep or was knocked unconscious.”
Probably the latter. I don’t think you’d just fall peacefully asleep if your face were all punched to a pulp.
After that he tied her up and cut her throat.
Hughes refused to call an ambulance, but at 7am Natalie managed to dial 999 herself. When officers arrived, the couple’s two-year-old twins, Ethan and Timmy, were in bed with their mother and covered in her blood.
But that was then. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, and now he wants to be all connected up with his little boys again. So they were covered in her blood, so what!
The negotiated terms stated that she would have to send letters three times a year – at Easter, September and December.
The order requires that the letters include “an update regarding the children’s general progress, both at nursery/school and socially, to include details of their health and emotional development”.
The letters must also include an “update photograph of each child no smaller than 6 inches by 4 inches”.
Hughes, 42, is also allowed to send birthday cards, Christmas cards and a letter at the start of each school year. Yet most shocking of all is the threat of legal repercussions for Natalie if she fails to complete the gruelling task of writing the letters three times a year.
He could be out of prison in a year. She’s afraid he’ll find her because of the letters.
Reunions are so sweet and touching.