Yoga teacher reveals how fiance threatened her with a meat cleaverFebruary 23, 2020
Yoga teacher, 28, reveals how her cheating fiance threw a radiator at her before threatening her with a meat cleaver he kept under his pillow
- Sophie Eyers, 28, from St Ives, Cambridgeshire, was threatened by her fiance
- Samuel James, 28, refused to let her leave the house to see friends and family
- He pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour and was sentenced
A yoga teacher has told how her cheating fiance threw a radiator at her before threatening her with a meat cleaver which he kept under his pillow.
Sophie Eyers, 28, from St Ives, Cambridgeshire, was left isolated and terrified after 28-year-old Samuel James refused to let her leave the house to see family and friends.
When Miss Eyres discovered James had cheated on her, he threw a radiator at her before threatening her with the lethal blade.
Sophie Eyers (pictured), 28, from St Ives, Cambridgeshire, was left isolated and terrified after 28-year-old Samuel James (pictured) refused to let her leave the house to see family and friends
She was only saved when police, who had been tipped off by a neighbour, burst in to rescue her during his attack on February 2 2019.
James pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour and assault at Cambridge Crown Court and is now serving a 34-month prison sentence.
Miss Eyres, who has been forced to give up teaching yoga because of her ordeal, said: ‘There was a constant threatening undertone from him 24 hours a day.
Miss Eyres was saved by police who were tipped off by a neighbour and rescued her during his attack on February 2 2019
Miss Eyres had been forced to give up teaching yoga because of her ordeal which left her feeling ‘very very low’
‘To say I walked on egg shells is a massive understatement. He threatened to kill me most days and I was so scared that I could barely sleep.’
She added: ‘There were so many violent incidents that I can barely recall them all now.
‘If I tried to leave the house without his permission he’d attack me, once he dragged me back in the house by my hair and beat me up.
She continued: ‘But afterwards he’d be so sorry and would gather me up in his arms and tell me he loved me.
A bruise on Miss Eyre’s arm caused by James during one of his attacks. She said his behaviour quickly deteriorated and he became volatile and controlling
‘It messed with my head and I wasn’t strong enough to leave.
‘I was so thankful when the police finally came to rescue me, I think one of the neighbours called the police and they burst in just as he was holding the meat cleaver to my throat.
‘I know for a fact I’d be dead now had they not intervened.’
Miss Eyres first met James through friends in March 2018 and their romance quickly blossomed.
James moved himself into Miss Eyre’s house and proposed after eight months in November 2018
He even moved himself into her house and proposed after eight months in November 2018.
But his behaviour quickly deteriorated and he became volatile and controlling.
She said: ‘Even when I was trying to do something nice, like booking a weekend away, he could just flip out for no reason.
‘He’d accuse me of wasting money.
‘But afterwards he’d pretend nothing had happened – it made me feel like I was going mad. That’s how he broke me down.
‘I was even scared of him before we got engaged, but I knew that if I said ‘no’ he’d flip out so I just pretended to be happy about it all.
‘I was in love with him but I knew things weren’t right, I just didn’t know how to break free. I felt helpless.’
The yoga teacher said: ‘Even when I was trying to do something nice, like booking a weekend away, he could just flip out for no reason’
James repeatedly threatened her an said he would lock her in the boot of his car and that he would ‘smash her teeth in’.
In another assault James threatened Miss Eyres with a knife after he pulled up in his car as she was leaving the gym.
She refused to get in the vehicle, but when James produced the knife she went with him.
James then admitted having sex with other women but blamed this on Miss Eyres and the incident eventually led to his arrest.
In another assault James threatened Miss Eyres with a knife after he pulled up in his car as she was leaving the gym
She said: ‘I’d had no idea he was cheating on me but he was always asking odd questions and seemed obsessed with finding out if I knew about the other women.
‘I denied knowing anything, but he looked livid and just didn’t believe me.
‘He took me upstairs to our bedroom – he was raging.
She continued: ‘He kicked a radiator off the wall it fell on my legs.
‘While I was down he went over to the bed and under the pillow where he kept his meat cleaver and said ‘you’re going to cause a murder scene’.
The yoga teacher added: ‘At that point I really thought I’d had it, he was going to kill me.
‘His eyes were not human.
‘But just as he was leaning over me with the knife to my throat, the police burst in the door.
‘One of the neighbours called them – they basically caught him red-handed.
‘He was dragged away by the officers and one female officer stayed with me, I was in shock and I could barely speak to her.
Miss Eyres said: ‘I’ve started yoga again and I hope to be teaching again soon, getting back into it has really helped’
‘I decided in that moment that I couldn’t lie for him or cover up his mistakes anymore.
‘I showed the officer with my eyes where my phone was and they look it away as evidence.
‘I felt that it was now or never and I think the decision I made then, to come clean about it all, saved my life.
‘I was placed in a women’s refuge after I’d given my statement but I hated it so I moved back home.
‘Thankfully he eventually pleaded guilty, I was terrified I’d have to give evidence in court.
‘After the case I had a bit of a breakdown and felt very very low but I’ve progressed now and I’m rebuilding my life.
‘I’ve started yoga again and I hope to be teaching again soon, getting back into it has really helped.
‘I’ve got PTSD and really bad anxiety, but I suppose that’s to be expected after the way I was living and what he put me through.’
James pleaded guilty to one charge of coercive and controlling behaviour, three charges of assault by beating and one charge of common assault at Cambridge Crown Court in July 2019 and was sentenced to 34 months in prison.
James was also handed a restraining order for 10 years, with conditions not to contact Miss Eyres or four others. The order prevents him from visiting St Ives and other areas.
Miss Eyres said: ‘I know I’d be dead now if the police hadn’t found me that day.
‘I wasn’t able to break free from his spell, despite how scared I was and how much I wanted to escape.
She added: ‘I want other women to know that there is a way out, that you can talk to people and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
‘It’s hard to breakaway from a controlling or violent relationship but it’s worth it.’
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