ITV weather woman Ruth Dodsworth details years of abuse

‘My kids rang and said ”don’t come home he’ll kill you”’: ITV weather woman Ruth Dodsworth details years of abuse by ex-husband and shares fears over his early prison release

ITV weather woman Ruth Dodsworth has detailed the abuse she suffered during her marriage to her now-jailed ex husband. 

The 46-year-old broadcaster’s former partner Jonathan Wignall was given a three year sentence last April after he pleaded guilty to stalking and coercive control, but may be released early later this year. 

And speaking on Wednesday’s Loose Women about the controlling marriage, Ruth told how one day her two children rang her to warn her not to come home because he ‘would kill her’. 

Tough: ITV weather woman Ruth Dodsworth has detailed the abuse she suffered during her marriage to her now-jailed ex husband

She went on to discuss her fears at the prospect of her ex-husband being released early from prison after only serving half his sentence. 

She said: ‘One particular night I had gone to work as normal but during the course of the day he must have started drinking early on as by the time I got back from school my kids rang me.

‘They said ‘we’re okay but don’t come home because he will kill you.’

Sad: The 46-year-old broadcaster’s former partner Jonathan Wignall (pictured) was given a three year sentence last April after he pleaded guilty to stalking and coercive control, but may be released early later this year

The nightclub owner, 55, who was married to Ruth for 18 years, subjected her to a nine-year campaign of controlling abuse before pleading guilty to coercive behaviour and stalking last year – which also resulted in him being handed a lifetime restraining order. 

On Loose Women she went on to discuss how the abuse started, saying: ‘I didn’t know what coercive control was but my relationship was definitely one defined by coercive control.

‘It started off with a little bit of possessiveness and you think “oh he must really love me” then suddenly it becomes really overwhelming and overpowering.

Scary: And speaking on Wednesday’s Loose Women about the controlling marriage, Ruth told how one day her two children rang her to warn her not to come home because he ‘would kill her’

‘It’s all very insidious and it happens under the radar, it was so subtle I lived with it for 20 years I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know it was coercive control’ 

She continued: ‘I look back now and it was almost there from day one, losing contact with your friends, treading on eggshells, waking up thinking what mood will he be in today…

‘When he was nice he was the nicest person, he could be charm personified but that wouldn’t last and you never knew when it could switch 

Frightened: She went on to discuss her fears at the prospect of her ex-husband being released early from prison after only serving half his sentence

Oh no: She said: ‘One particular night I had gone to work as normal but during the course of the day he must have started drinking early on as by the time I got back from school my kids rang me. They said ‘we’re okay but don’t come home because he will kill you’

‘I would leave home and would be in tears because we would have argued about something silly…walk into the studio smile and then go home again in tears.’

She then detailed how he would try and get into her phone to check her messages and get her to Facetime him when she was away for work to check where she was.

She then spoke about his potential early release, saying: ‘He could have been let out now, four months prior he can apply for home release, and you can’t keep people behind bars forever.

‘But it was a year ago today the judge said you are evil and a danger to your wife and children, how much of that has changed? 

Precautions: Last month she revealed that she has fitted her house with security cameras and alarms as Jonathan prepares to be let out early, serving half of his three-year sentence (pictured together) 

‘I never set out to send him to prison, but the police have been fantastic in saying you’re not doing this he is doing this to himself.’ 

Last month she revealed that she has fitted her house with security cameras and alarms as Jonathan prepares to be let out early, serving half of his three-year sentence. 

Taking to Twitter to express her concern, Ruth said: ‘Exactly one year ago today my ex-husband pleaded guilty to stalking and coercive control.

‘I’ve spent this afternoon with South Wales Police learning how to protect my home/family ahead of his possible imminent release.

Happy: Ruth, a familiar face to viewers on ITV Wales, revealed last June she had met a new partner and was relishing her new found freedom 

‘That’s our reality. Alarms everywhere! It’s all good but it’s not over.’ 

She added: ‘He was sentenced to three years, nine months, to run concurrently.

‘Told to serve half minimum. Can apply for early release four-and-a-half before the halfway point.

‘This is standard apparently. Lifetime restraining order, yes. But that’s just a piece of paper. He’s a dangerous man.’

Ruth, a familiar face to viewers on ITV Wales, revealed last June she had met a new partner and was relishing her new found freedom.

However, the presenter predicted her anxiety regarding Jonathan’s release, claiming her ex-husband blamed her for his jail sentence and had never taken responsibility for the abuse.

The former couple met in 2001, a year after Ruth became a weather presenter, and married in 2002. 

Jonathan’s controlling behaviour began around 2010 when the couple moved from Swansea to Cowbridge and she became their main breadwinner when his nightclub business started to fail.

Upset: Taking to Twitter to express her concern, Ruth said: ‘Exactly one year ago today my ex-husband pleaded guilty to stalking and coercive control’

But rather than celebrate her success, he grew envious and obsessive, setting alarms to check Ruth’s nightly forecasts on TV and call her dozens of times a day demanding to know where she was and who she was with.

He would also turn up outside broadcast locations or insist that she ate her lunch in the car with him, rather than at a studio canteen.

Plus, demand access to her phone so he could check her messages and delete contacts he didn’t like and watched her use the toilet and shower in case she was using her phone in the bathroom and accompany her to medical appointments.

He even placed a tracking device under the steering wheel of her car and slapped her around the face if she fella asleep before him.

After Jonathan, the father of her two children was sentenced, she appeared on ITV show This Morning to tell her story and persuade other victims to report their abusers. 

She said: ‘At its worst, just under two years ago, when things escalated, I’d been in work and during that week he had been phoning me hundreds and hundreds of times a day, turning up at the office, texting me ‘where are you’, asking who I was with.

‘That particular day he started drinking early in the day and by the time my children got home from school they were phoning me saying ‘mum, don’t come home, he’s going to kill you’ and I think, for me, that was a turning point.

‘I didn’t go home that night because I think if I had, I wouldn’t be here now in any way, shape or form.

Difficult: Jonathan’s controlling behaviour began around 2010 when the couple moved from Swansea to Cowbridge and she became their main breadwinner when his nightclub business started to fail

‘It took confiding in someone else for them to say ‘Ruth, if you don’t ring the police I will’ – and that really changed everything.’

She added: ‘If I waited for him to go to sleep first, it was okay. But if I went to sleep first he would slap my face to wake me up because it was not on his terms.

‘This is a man that I loved and is the father of my children. It is degrading, it was humiliating but it is so hard to get out. I would say to people, just get out. Speak to someone…

‘You don’t realise that isolation until you look back on it. His paranoia, his jealousy – I work in a very public job, I meet a lot of people and he couldn’t handle that.’

Abuse: He would also turn up outside broadcast locations or insist that she ate her lunch in the car with him, rather than at a studio canteen

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