Vigilant hospital staff alert police to domestic abuse stabbing victim

WHEN a woman arrived at hospital with a deep cut to her leg and claimed it was caused by a falling knife, medical staff were concerned something wasn’t right.

The wound was serious, and the patient appeared nervous when talking about what had happened, raising suspicions of doctors at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.

Her account – that a knife had fallen off a counter, cutting her leg – did not correlate with the level of injury she had sustained, and vigilant staff contacted police.

After several attempts to speak to the patient alone, Dyfed-Powys Police officers made the decision to arrest her partner, Alfie Jack Field.

Detective Inspector Sam Gregory said: “The victim continued to provide an account to officers that felt prepared and unrealistic in comparison to the injury she’d sustained, which was a 5cm deep wound to her upper leg.

“By arresting her partner, specially trained domestic abuse officers could engage with the victim and gain her confidence. After some time she opened up and disclosed that Alfie Field had in fact stabbed her with a knife.

“Her injury was so serious that she needed a blood transfusion, but until Field was in custody she was too afraid to say anything.”

Continued engagement with the victim encouraged her support to proceed with a prosecution, and 22-year-old Field was charged with Section 18 wounding with intent on December 27, 2023 – the day after the incident.

Field, of Pontrhydfendigaid, admitted to wounding without intent and threatening a person with an offensive weapon or bladed article in a private place when he appeared at Swansea Crown Court. He was sentenced this week to a total of two years in prison, and was handed a five year restraining order.

DI Gregory said: “This case involved a vulnerable and very frightened victim, whose partner remained with her in hospital with the sole aim of preventing her from telling staff and officers what had really happened.

“I would like to commend her strength and acknowledge the courage it took for her to engage with officers and staff at the hospital for the truth to be known.

“This is a fine example of multiagency working, with the right support provided to the victim at the right time, and demonstrated and zero tolerance approach Dyfed-Powys Police takes on domestic abuse.

“We hope this sentence gives others living in abusive relationships or households the confidence to come forward, and reassures that they will be listened to and supported throughout the criminal justice process.”

Sharon Daniel, Interim Director of Nursing, Quality & Patient Experience at Hywel Dda University Health Board added: “I am pleased to hear that the vigilance of our clinical staff meant that we were able to help this patient who had suffered a serious injury at the hands of an abusive partner.

“Our staff do so much more than treat physical symptoms or injuries, they consider a patient’s wellbeing as a whole. I am very proud of the team in Bronglais and across the health board for their hard work.

“We would encourage any person admitted into hospital with injuries sustained as a result of domestic abuse to tell our staff whenever possible, although we understand this is often a difficult and sensitive situation.

“Any person who is having to deal with domestic abuse can find more information on our website on how to get advice and support – .

“We have also recently appointed a Domestic Violence Advocate in Bronglais Hospital, funded through NHS charities, as part of our commitment to improve identification and responses to domestic abuse in health settings.”

For advice on reporting or seeking support for domestic abuse, visit Advice about domestic abuse | Dyfed-Powys Police

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