A brave domestic violence victim has spoken about the terrifying moment her ex put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her.
James Clinton had been drinking heavily and had taken cocaine when he launched the savage attack on his girlfriend Rebecca at their home in Chelmsley Wood.
Incredibly, she managed to find the strength to stop him pushing the knife into her throat and survived the attack.
Now she is speaking out, warning other women who are in a violent relationship to have the courage to walk away.
She also fears that once Clinton is freed from prison later this year he will be looking to find a new girlfriend, and is warning women to steer clear of him.
Rebecca opened her heart after Clinton was jailed for two years and one month at Birmingham Crown Court.
Clinton, 32, formerly of Chelmsley Wood, admitted three charges of assault and one of making a threat to kill.
After he was arrested and taken to a police station, he assaulted two detention officers who had gone into his cell to attempt to stop him from self-harming.
Rebecca, who is 28, had known Clinton for 17 years but they only started going out together six months last spring.
He moved into her flat and at first was ‘very loving’, and they were happy.
But all that changed when one of his friends was arrested for domestic violence against one of Rebecca’s friends.
The man was arrested and Clinton became the go-between, passing messages between them.
‘His mood changed and he became angry with everyone, me included,’ says Rebecca.
‘I did everything for him – cooking and cleaning – but he used to get angry and punch the microwave and punch the walls.
‘He was very possessive and jealous and thought I’d cheat on him with his friends.
‘He was also an alcoholic who used to get through three crates of Carling a day, vodka on top of that – and he used to take cocaine.
‘Two weeks before the knife incident we’d been arguing and he punched me in the face.
‘I should have left him then, but I thought it was a one-off and I loved him so much that I stayed.’
Rebecca says that Clinton had always been controlling.
‘At first he wouldn’t let me have a mobile phone, but when he did get me one he made me put all my calls on loudspeaker so he could hear who I was talking to,’ she says.
‘I couldn’t go anywhere on my own, and when I was asleep he used to take pictures of me and put them on Facebook.’
Things came to a violent head last September when they were in the flat and having another argument.
‘When he’d taken coke and been drinking he turned into the Incredible Hulk and had incredible strength,’ she says.
‘He picked up the double bed and tried to throw it at me. I managed to get out and run downstairs to the concierge and rang the police.
‘But because he’s got a history of self-harming, I was worried about him and went back up to check he was okay.’
When she went back into the flat, she says. he grabbed her from behind and put her in a headlock.
‘I managed to wriggle free and run to the front door but it was locked.
‘I turned round, and he’d got a knife. He put the knife to my throat saying “This is for you”.
‘I fell backwards, and he was on top of me with the knife pressed right against my throat. He said to me “Say goodbye to your family” but I wasn’t ready to die.
‘I somehow found the strength to hold the knife handle and stop him from pushing it into my throat.
‘I thought I was going to die and kept pleading with him not to kill me. Eventually, he let go and by then the police were there.’
Rebecca suffered extensive cuts and bruises to her face and throat, but has made a full recovery.
But she says it has made her scared to go out on her own, and she is also frightened of starting another relationship.
Even when he was in prison on remand, he sent her letters – begging her to drop the charges.
‘He was convinced I was cheating on him and sent one of his friends round to try to sleep with me,’ she reveals.
‘It was a test to see if I was being faithful.’
Clinton is due to be released in September.
Rebecca added: ‘I want his picture out there so women know to avoid him.
‘I also want women to be aware of Claire’s Law, where you can find out if your boyfriend has got a violent history.’