Cimla murder victim's mum makes domestic violence plea

image source, Kay Lauro
image captionKay Lauro (left) said her family had been "destroyed" following the murder of her daughter Terrie-Ann Jones (right)

A mother whose daughter was murdered by a violent and controlling boyfriend has urged domestic violence victims to seek help.

Terrie-Ann Jones, 33, was found in a pool of blood at her home in Cimla, Neath, after being stabbed 26 times.

Last week, John Lewis, 55, of Briton Ferry, was handed a life sentence for her murder.

Ms Jones' mum Kay Lauro wants other people to take note of her daughter's story to avoid a similar fate.

She said: "Even if you don't want to talk to your friends or family, there is plenty of help out there.

"I'm begging anyone who is the same situation as my Tan, whether you're a woman or a man, please speak to someone."

image source, Kay Lauro
image captionMs Lauro said her daughter, known to friends as "Tan", was confident and outgoing but became withdrawn

Ms Lauro told BBC Wales her daughter's behaviour had changed during her relationship with Lewis.

She said: "Tan was quite a strong person and not someone you would ever think would be a victim of domestic violence.

"Maybe she thought she could handle him or she was too scared of him.

"In hindsight I wish I could have done something more.

"But I want to make sure that no-one ever has to go through what my family have gone through."

As well as juggling being a single mother-of-two, Ms Jones also held down a job at The Castle Hotel in Neath.

She dreamed of finding "Mr Right" and wanted to settle down and have her own family, according to her mother.

image source, South Wales Police
image captionJohn Lewis was described by police as "utterly remorseless and arrogant"

Two weeks after starting a relationship with Lewis, Ms Jones was seen by work colleagues with a swollen lip.

During his trial at Swansea Crown Court a jury heard that last November, Lewis threatened to kill Ms Jones and her two children and then blow up their house.

He had claimed he had acted in self-defence after stabbing Ms Jones 26 times on 5 January.

However, jurors found him guilty of murder and he was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 19 years.

Despite the volatile situation behind closed doors, Ms Jones' family and friends had no idea of the true extent of the abuse.

After Lewis was sentenced, they said their lives had been "totally destroyed" and would never be the same again.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can include emotional abuse, threats and intimidation, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

An estimated 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be affected by domestic abuse across their lifetime.

1.1 million incidents and crimes related to domestic abuse were recorded by police in 2016-17.

There were 76,000 convictions that same year.

On average, about 150 people a year are killed as a result of domestic violence, the majority at the hands of a partner or ex-partner.

Just under a quarter of referrals to women's refuges are declined due to a lack of space, one survey of 120 services suggests.

Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics, Women's Aid

For information and support on domestic abuse, visit the BBC's Action Line.

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