'Toe-curling' account of coercive control LBC listeners brand 'heartbreaking'

5 May 2022, 15:35 | Updated: 5 May 2022, 19:35

By Seán Hickey

Shelagh Fogarty was left speechless after hearing this caller's disturbing experience of being controlled by her ex-husband.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

LBC listeners were sharing their personal and anecdotal accounts of domestic abuse and coercive control as a court in Virginia, USA hears testimony from Hollywood actress Amber Heard in the defamation trial her ex-husband Johnny Depp has taken against her.

Read more: 'It changed my life': Tearful Amber Heard recalls first time Johnny Depp 'slapped her'

Susan phoned in from Bristol to share her story. She told listeners that she met her ex-husband, who is nine years older than her was "really controlling" from the very start of their relationship, vetting who she met and where she was allowed to go on her own.

"I just became a mother. I didn't go anywhere, I didn't do anything, I wasn't really allowed to have friends. If I did have friends, he would come between those friendships."

Detailing the extent of the coercion, she described how her ex-husband would weaponise their children to make her reconsider leaving the house to see friends or family, adding that "as soon as the children were in bed he would start being really nasty."

The caller went on to tell Shelagh that she got "really brave" when her children went to school and started her own gardening business.

Read more: 'Let's drown her before we burn her': Court hears shocking Johnny Depp texts about Amber Heard

"He would turn up with an ice cream, and make it out as though he was being nice", she said. "He was spying on you" Shelagh nodded.

The control went ever deeper, the caller explained: "He'd record the mileage on my vehicle and then ask me where I'd been. Then he'd say 'well your mileage doesn't add up'." Shelagh couldn't believe her ears.

Read more: Caller Considers Leaving Her Husband After Hearing LBC Phone-In On Domestic Abuse

"My toes are curling!" She then asked how Susan got herself out of the situation. She explained that she began to stand up for herself "when the children got older", confiding in a male friend.

"It was really hard to admit I had let it get that bad."

She then told listeners that once her husband smelled the aftershave of her friend, he got "really physical", with her son witnessing the abuse.

She went on to explain how her ex-husband threatened to lose his job and tell their children it was mummy's fault if she detailed the full extent of the abuse to the police.

Susan told LBC she went ahead with divorcing her ex, but her children were split in custody hearings – as their father only wanted custody of their son

"They split my children up like they were material possessions", she said, telling Shelagh that her daughter grew up knowing her father "didn't want her".

"It's damaged me for life."

If you are affected by the issues raised above you can contact The Dash Charity on 01753 549865 or Refuge on 020 7395 7700.

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

'We're told to smile whilst we're sexually harassed': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

'We're told to smile whilst it happens': Campaigner aims to end street sexual harassment

Tory Cllr: Boris Johnson has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation

Boris has 'without a doubt' harmed party's reputation, Tory councillor says

Caller, who lost mother, brands Boris Johnson a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Caller, who lost mother, brands PM a 'proven liar' before breaking down in tears

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' of UK nurse supply, warns RCN Deputy Nursing Dir

Importing overseas nurses hides 'gaping wound' within NHS, warns nursing chief

Britain's ability to sign trade deals will be damaged if it unilaterally dumps the Northern Ireland protocol according to Nick Thomas-Symonds

Truss damaging UK's reputation with NI Protocol 'threats', Labour MP warns

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

Liverpool fans booing national anthem was 'misdirected', says ex-Bishop of city

'Terrified': Stella Creasy tells LBC of gang rape threats at university

'My gang rape fear': Stella Creasy tells of sex harassment hell at Cambridge

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP blasts neighbours' extensions voting plan

'It's like sending people to Rwanda': Ex-Labour MP on neighbours' extensions voting plan

Tradesman opens up to Shelagh Fogarty about 'harder and harder' work routine

Tradesman opens up to Shelagh Fogarty about 'harder and harder' work routine

Sadiq Khan demands 2-year rent freeze to combat cost of living crisis

Sadiq Khan demands 2-year rent freeze to combat cost of living crisis

Eco activist attacks government's 'draconian' protest crackdown in Public Order Bill

Eco activist attacks government's 'draconian' protest crackdown in Public Order Bill

Britain facing 'health crisis' as cost-of-living emergency bites, warns charity boss

Brits facing 'health crisis' as cost of living emergency bites, warns charity boss

Exclusive
Distraught LBC caller eats one meal a WEEK amid food poverty crisis

Distraught LBC caller breaks down after revealing she eats just one meal a week

Andy Burnham: 'The country is ready' for 'full nationalisation' of railways

Andy Burnham: 'The country is ready' for 'full nationalisation' of railways

Pensioners 'in tears' in reduced aisles amid cost-of-living crisis

Pensioners 'in tears' in reduced aisles amid cost of living crisis, supermarket worker reveals

Cleaner fired for refusing to work at house of man watching porn around her

Cleaner fired for refusing to work at house of man watching porn around her