Victim speaks out after brutal assault

Hazel in the bedroom where the attack happened, the walls and floors of which still bear the blood stains.
Hazel in the bedroom where the attack happened, the walls and floors of which still bear the blood stains.

The survivor of an horrific domestic attack has spoken out in the hope it will help others.

Hazell Peters needed nearly 100 stitches in her head and face and suffered a broken bone in her ear and a perforated ear drum after her partner James O’Neill set upon her.

In the bedroom where the attack took place, O’Neill hit her with a bottle more than 20 times.

Despite the horrendous ordeal Hazell, 51, has suffered, she now wants to speak out to help other victims of domestic violence.

Hazell, of Aldingham Court, Westgate, said: “If speaking out saves a single person’s life then it’s all been worth it.

“The pain I suffered with every single bit of my beating was worth it if it saves someone.”

O’Neill was originally charged with attempted murder but that was changed to a section 18 wounding offence at an earlier hearing at Preston Crown Court.

The 46-year-old was later jailed for 12 years and eight months for the attack. He is also prohibited from contacting her for life. The earliest he can be released is 2020 when he will be 56.

Hazell met O’Neill seven years ago shortly after he had got out of prison after completing a four-year jail sentence for robbing a chemist. She said: “He wasn’t taking methadone or prescription drugs at that time but he hit the drink.

“When he was drunk he was violent. On the day of the attack, September 13, 2012, he was totally straight, not drunk. It was 2.14pm and I was watching TV in my bedroom.

“He put the dogs in the kitchen and locked all the doors. He came in the bedroom and shut the door before sitting on the bed.

“He said out of the blue ‘I’m going to kill you now’ and calmly picked up a Lucky Buddha beer bottle and started to hit me with it.

“He also hit me with a fan and a kettle and tried to strangle me. I thought I would be dead. He bit a hole in two of my fingers as I tried to push him off, cracking a bone in one of my fingers. I just said ‘Denton will be here’ (my grandson) and he got up and stopped.

“It was a total bloodbath in the bedroom. I couldn’t stand up. I was bleeding to death.”

Hazell managed to get out of the house and collapsed in the road. A passing female motorist found her and called the police who took her to hospital.

Dee Conlon, Deputy Chief Executive of Blackpool Advocacy & Lancaster and District Women’s Aid, said: “It’s extremely brave of Hazel to speak out about her experiences. Many victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to seek help and it’s important that they know that help and support is available.

“Along with the police, courts and other agencies we can offer a range of measures to ensure that victims and their families are supported and protected.”