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This Woman Faces Jail If She Doesn't Write To The Man Who Slashed Her Throat

"How can I trust the authorities when they've made me do this?"

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This is Natalie Allman, 29, from Hereford, with her two boys, Timmy and Ethan. Newsteam

In 2012, her boyfriend Jason Hughes, 42, beat her with a dumbbell and slashed her across the throat because he wanted to make her look "ugly" for dumping him.

Hughes, a former Territorial Army soldier, was sentenced to nine years in prison after the attack.

The attack, which took place at their home in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, was witnessed by both of their sons. It lasted for seven hours, whereupon he allowed her to call for an ambulance.

She told the Sunday People that although he'd "never been aggressive before", he'd previously been controlling.

She told the paper:

We'd been separated a few weeks but he was still staying in the house until he found somewhere else. He found out that I was seeing someone else and the jealousy just sent him over the edge.

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.

But now a judge has ordered her to send three letters a year to Hughes while he's in prison.

Allman had begun to rebuild her life with a new partner, but last January she received a letter from Hughes' lawyer saying he was applying for a Residence and Contact Order under Section 8 of the Children Act of 1989. She fought the order in the courts, spending £3,000 on legal fees, but it was granted.


For his part, Hughes is allowed to send birthday and Christmas cards, as well as a letter at the start of each year.

He has apparently already told her about how he's allowed to play on an Xbox and work as a beekeeper in prison.

She told the Sunday People:

I read the order and felt sick that I was going to have to ­communicate with that man after what he did. I wanted to just ignore it and get on with my life with my boys.

But then I read the notes at the end. They said, 'If you do not comply with this contact order you may be held in contempt of court and be committed to prison or fined'. I couldn't believe it. I could end up being split up from my children and sent to prison when he was the one who ­attacked me. I'm the one being treated like a criminal.

Hughes could apparently come out of prison as early as next year.

Allman told the Sunday People that while she'd been promised she'd be protected – with alarms fitted in the house and a geographical ban stopping Hughes coming to the town – she had a simple question: "How can I trust the authorities when they have made me do this?”

An online petition has been set up asking for a review of the order granted to Jason Hughes.

Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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