A student who was punched and choked unconscious by her boyfriend has labelled him a ‘monster’ after he avoided jail, despite pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm. Elliot Beckwith repeatedly banged 21 years old Paige Hegarty’s head off floor in a frenzied attack that left her with horrific fractures to her cheekbone and eye socket. Couple had been dating for a year before Elliot’s vicious assault after a row in April this year. Beckwith, now of Lingwell Gate Lane in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was given 16 months in prison, suspended for 2 years.
Paige, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester,told ‘This monster beat me to the brink of my life. I was unconscious, bleeding on the floor. I thought I was dying. I tried to sit up but fell back down. I came out of hospital with a broken eye socket, fractured cheekbone, a deep cut to my ear and multiple bruising. I have permanent nerve damage on the left side of my face and am suffering from PTSD.’
Paige, who bravely continued her studies to graduate with a 2:1 in drama from Huddersfield University after attack, has released shocking pics of her bloody injuries. She told that she was still mentally scarred by the attack and added that trauma had led to her losing her ‘dream job’ as a freelance lighting designer for a theatre company.
Paige told she was angry that Beckwith escaped a jail sentence, claiming that he was originally charged with GBH with intent, only to eventually face the lesser charge of GBH. Paige continued ‘It was lowered so he could plead guilty and he has not received jail time…this should not be allowed, it happens too many times. I would say he’s a monster. I hope his life is as bad as he’s made mine.’
Leeds Crown Court heard that Beckwith 31 years old launched the attack after they rowed several times over the evening of April 4. The final catalyst for attack was her throwing his phone, breaking it, Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said the court.
Beckwith later told he ‘flipped’ and in anger repeatedly punched Paige in face before starting to strangle her, squeezing so tightly she briefly blacked out. When Paige came round, fellow university student Beckwith punched her again before grabbing her hair and repeatedly banging her head on wooden floor of his room in Leeds Road, Huddersfield. When she again came round Beckwith was sitting beside her. He told he had phoned the police and ambulance saying ‘That’s it, I won’t be a teacher now or anything thanks to you.’
The pair were both in their final year and had been going out for about 1 years. Paige described it as a volatile relationship but she wanted to continue out of love for him. She was also scared what he would do if she ended it because he had mental health problems and after an argument that evening she followed him to a club to sort their problems out. Initially they did make peace but argued again and she had slapped Beckwith and thrown a drink over him because of something he told. Beckwith then decided to go home alone but she again followed. At his address they argued, she slapped him again and he punched her twice with his clenched fist, she went upstairs after him and realised her lip was bleeding. She smashed a mirror before throwing his phone away, breaking it after he tried to call police. It was then he launched his violent attack on her leaving her with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket, bruising around her eyes and a tear to cartilage on her ear. She now suffers flashbacks of events, is awaiting counselling and still has numbness in her cheek. Christopher Styles, representing Beckwith, told he had been admitted to psychiatric hospital last year after trying to kill himself and was awaiting further treatment at time of assault which he deeply regretted. Beckwith, must also do 250 hours unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation activity days and adhere to a 5 month curfew from 8 Pm to 7 Am. Recorder Simon Jackson QC told violence against women was unacceptable but he was imposing such a sentence because of his psychiatric problems and need for help and treatment.