Domestic abuse victim Eve Thomas dramatically saved from prison sentence
COURAGEOUS domestic abuse victim Eve Thomas was dramatically spared jail yesterday after a friend stepped in and paid her court costs in full - meaning she didn’t have to give up her address in open court for fear of her ex-husband tracking her down.
Ms Thomas, aged 45, handed herself into Manchester Civil Justice Centre yesterday morning (Thurs) after a warrant was issued for her arrest following her refusal to disclose her “flee” address, which is often issued to victims of abuse.
In an earlier hearing the mother-of-two, who suffered 21 years of “hell” from ex-husband Michael Aldred, had offered to give the information in a sealed envelope — but a court official refused this and said she was being “awkward”.
She was summoned to court in June to answer to a small claims hearing involving an ex-friend who claimed she owed her £450 for a laptop bought from her catalogue.
But the unnamed “saviour”, who accompanied Ms Thomas to court, stepped in and paid the total costs of £929 after His Honour Judge Platts stated she’d go to prison if she didn’t give up her flee address.
Relieved Ms Thomas, who lives in Astley Bridge and campaigns for victims of domestic violence through charity One Voice, says she has revealed a massive flaw in the law, and vows to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
She said: “I’m a bit shook up but I’ll be ok – I’ve been through much worse. My friend, whose name must be kept secret, is like my knight in shining armour.
“I was thoroughly prepared to go to prison today but my friend has saved me from that. She has completely put my faith back in humanity.
“The judge said I could hand over the address in a sealed envelope but then said that the other party could claim to see it at any time – and I just wasn’t prepared to do that as she knows my ex-husband.”
Ms Thomas suffered 21 years of physical and emotional abuse from her ex-husband Michael Aldred, who was convicted of battery in 2011 and given a suspended sentence.
Ms Thomas added: “Once I build myself up again I’ll be pursuing this. I’ve spoken to two other women that had to give up their flee address in court. It’s so wrong that victims of domestic violence are being put in that position.”