Man found guilty of ‘grotesque’ attack on girlfriend

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A 51-year-old Newport Pagnell man has been found guilty of a “grotesque” attack on his younger girlfriend and leaving her with life threatening injuries.

Ian Ratledge was today (Wednesday) convicted of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent following a seven day trial by jury at Oxford Crown Court.

His case was adjourned for sentencing on September 27.

The court heard Ratledge carried out a sustained and brutal assault on 30-year-old Shelley McGovern at their home in February 2012

Following the attack, he left her unconscious body on the sofa for a considerable period of time before telling a lodger in the property what he had done.

Upon seeing the severity of her condition, the lodger left the premises and contacted the police.

Miss McGovern’s injuries included extensive bruising all over her body, bite marks, and a bleed on the brain.

There were marks around her neck indicating a ligature had been used and she also she suffered serious injuries to her heart, kidney, head and brain.

Medical evidence confirmed that without medical treatment she would have died from her injuries.

Miss McGovern, whose face after the attack was described as “like a horror movie”, is still receiving medical treatment.

After the case investigating officer Detective Constable Marcus Miller said: “During this terrifying ordeal Ratledge inflicted numerous injuries on his victim. He disregarded her need for medical attention and openly admitted to his lodger that the assault had been carried out by him.

“This was a grotesque attack which could have easily resulted in death for his victim.

“The victim in this case was extremely vulnerable and instead of helping her, Ratledge systematically abused her in multiple ways over a period of months. When the pathologist addressed the court he was of the opinion that this victim had suffered more injuries than even some murder victims.

“The abuse she suffered is unimaginable and I hope the sentence reflects this.”

Det Con Miller added: “Victims of domestic abuse are often reluctant to involve the police and support a prosecution, and I would like to praise the victim and her family for their courage in supporting this investigation and ensuring that justice is done.

“Thames Valley Police is committed to tackling domestic abuse and we will be relentless in our pursuit of justice for victims.”

A dedicated website and video provides practical information for victims and those supporting them, and includes vital links to national and local support services.

The website was launched by Thames Valley Police in May 2012 in partnership with Domestic Abuse Co-ordinators and Crimestoppers.