ITV WEATHER presenter Ruth Dodsworth has said that she believes she would not be alive today had she not sought help whilst in an abusive and controlling relationship.
Ms Dodsworth was stalked by her husband Jonathan Wignall, who jailed last week for three years.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning about years spent being coercively controlled by Wignall, she said that the details of her case were never meant to be public.
“Suddenly they were out there when Jonathan was sentenced,” she said.
“The decision to go public was almost taken away from me.”
The pair had been married for 18 years and Ms Dodsworth – a regular ITV weather presenter on regional news in Wales and London – said that “within a marriage, at first, you try to make it work”.
“You make excuses, you put on this smile,” she said.
However, she said that with the benefit of hindsight, all the signs were there.
“We were happy, but there were instances where his temper was obvious,” she said.
“As things started to fall down, I became the focus of his temper, his anger.
“The very phrase ‘domestic abuse’ or ‘coercive control’ I find quite difficult to say because, for a long time I didn’t recognise or put myself in that category.”
She explained that around two years ago things began to escalate significantly.
“He had been phoning me hundreds and hundreds of times a day and turning up at the office,” she said.
“One particular day he had started drinking early in the day. By the time my children got home from school they were phoning me saying “mum, don’t come home. He’s going to kill you”.
“That was a turning point. I didn’t go home that night. If I had, I don’t think I would be here now.”
Ms Dodsworth explained how, while she was sleeping, Wignall, now of Trawler Road, Swansea, held her thumb on her phone so that he could gain access to it.
He also stood outside the bathroom door while she was in there.
“To him, every male I met was a potential affair,” she said.
“He offered to pay my children money to go into my phone.
“He put a tracker on my car, which we only noticed after he started turning up in places he had no reason to be.
“This is a man I loved, and who was father to my children.”
She said that it took someone else saying “Ruth if you don’t phone the police, I will”, to change the situation.
“When you’re in that situation it’s degrading, dehumanising,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t asked for help.”