A woman told a jury she thought she was about to die in her Carnaby flat when her boyfriend threatened to dig up her grandmother’s grave.
The woman, 34, said Jonathan Ruane, 30, had taken cocaine and alcohol when he produced a rusty claw hammer from under a bed and swung at her head and missed - hitting her leg.
The mother said the man she had known for seven months and moved to Freshfields in Carnaby with to start a new life, then ordered his 11-year-old daughter to pick up the hammer and smash her head in. He also threatened to drag her to her grandmother’s grave, dig her up and eat cornflakes out of her skull.
“I thought I was going to die,” the woman told a jury at Hull Crown Court. “I thought she was going to smash my head in. He told me to lie down on the bed. He said, if I did that, he would not hurt my children. I said ok, because I did not want my children hurt. He said pick the hammer up. She picked it up but she would not do it”.
“He kept saying he was going to kill me, kill my mum, my nephew, my sister. He said: “I am going to kill your dad.” He did not even know my family. I did not think I was going to get away. He said he was going to kill my children and my mum and make me watch. He said he was going to dig my dead nana up and skull-drag me to my nana’s grave and eat cornflakes out of her skull. Then he was going to chop my head off and eat cornflakes out of my head.” He said he was going to kill his daughter and me and give us George Formby faces.”
Ruane, 30, of Freshfields, Covert Lane, Carnaby, near Bridlington, has gone on trial at Hull Crown Court (March 2-5) denying charges of false imprisonment, making threats to kill and causing actual bodily harm.
The woman told the jury Ruane slept with hammer, knife and scissors under the bed because he thought he could see people hiding in the bushes and would spend up to £2,000 on cocaine and drink up to three bottles of Jack Daniels in one session.
She said: “He is not a small man. He is huge. He frightens you to death. He will sit and stare at you for two hours and won’t let you move.”
She initially said she fell for him after he bought her presents and said he loved her. She said on September 13 last year he had returned from a night out to their flat with a man called Joe Tool and snapped after she asked him for a cigarette because he did not have any money.
The woman said Ruane was controlling. He would not allow her on Facebook and told her which numbers she could put in her mobile telephone. She said: “I could tell he had a drink. I could tell he had cocaine. He twitches. The more he drinks the more cocaine he has to take, as he gets unbalanced. I said please can I have a cigarette. The next thing I felt he was trying to stab me in the head with a key.”
She said she tried to stand up and answer him back, but Ruane told her to shut up.” She said she tried to jump out of a first-floor window, but was unable to as he had locked her in and after this told her she was going nowhere.
She said Ruane responded by grabbing her hair and hitting her head with his knee.
Joe jumped up. He (Ruane) told me to shut up. I got up and tried to jump out the first floor window. I could not get out the front door. He had locked the door. He took the keys and took the phones.
“His daughter was screaming. Joe was telling him to stop. Joe was saying: “You should not be doing this!” Joe is smaller than me. It must have taken balls. Ruane said you are going nowhere.”
The woman said she took Ruane’s daughter into her bedroom and watched a DVD until Ruane came in and jumped on the bed smashing it in the middle.
“The bed collapsed. He would not let us pick it up. There was one bit up the other on the floor. He told us we were not allowed to move.”
She said she had told him she had given up her children to go and live with Ruane who then accused her of lying. “Then he hit me on the left side off my face with a slap. We were on the bed.”
“Joe came in and said: “What are you doing? You should not be doing this.” Ruane called me a wench, and said what kind of a wench leaves their own children for a man.”
The woman said the next day he awoke angry, but along with his daughter, tried to pacify him by telling Ruane they loved him. She said Ruane left the house and they were thinking of how they could escape until he rang in an angry mood, threatening to kill them both. They both fled by car to Bridlington Hospital dialling 101 and were locked in a room for their own protection until police arrived.
She told police he had head-butted her breaking her nose three times before laughing when it was straightened. She said when he was angry: “His eyes go black. He is scary. He is like the devil. He says he is going to skin you alive. He is going to eat your body. He puts the fear of God into you.”
“He laughs when he does it. It is like he was getting real pleasure.”
Ruane was arrested at a McDonald’s Restaurant and denied all the allegations in police interview.
He said the woman was the aggressor in the relationship who had slapped him during violence. He denied subjecting her to violence and said the only time he had touched her was to restrain her. He said when he left the flat the woman and his daughter must have colluded to give evidence against him.”
The trial continues.