NEIGHBOURS of a 23-year-old victim of violent domestic abuse found hanged in her flat heard her shout “get your hands off me” before a scream and then silence.
Rebecca Day, 23, known as Becky, was discovered in her flat in Peel Place, Hull, on December 29, a month after ex-boyfriend Liam Scott’s release from prison for strangling her and breaking her nose. The 27-year-old was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but was later released unconditionally.
An inquest heard Becky had been a victim of violence throughout their three-year relationship and was considered “high risk” after the assault in June, in which he strangled her, leaving her gasping for breath and then kicked her in the face breaking her nose.
In the space of six weeks last summer the hearing was told she’d had four black eyes on different occasions.
Becky told neighbours Helen Everitt and Jo Goodwin about the assault and she was scared of him and they organised a secret code – knocking on the ceiling or wall three times – so they could come to her aid. Mr Goodwin said they heard arguing and just before 1am Becky shout: “Leave me alone, get your hands off me.”
They then heard a female scream, the sound of furniture being moved, “and then it went really quiet,” before Mr Scott came banging on the door.
When police arrived they found him “aggressive”, “agitated” and smelling of alcohol, swearing and lunging towards the paramedics trying to rescucitate Becky, and “virtually stepping” on her prone body. They had to handcuff him to stop him obstructing them, behaviour one paramedic said he’d never seen before.
Mr Scott said he had been to get beers and returned to find her hanging. But in a statement yesterday he claimed he was asleep when it happened.
The contradictions prompted Becky’s mother Michelle Coates to say she didn’t believe her daughter had hanged herself. Ms Everitt, who had just finished giving evidence, replied: “I don’t believe it either.”
The court also heard Mr Scott’s claims that Becky had been on an “Mcat (mephedrone) bender” but the post mortem found no evidence of drugs or alcohol. The inquest heard Becky finally decided to leave him and on December 28 asked him to meet her in the city centre to collect his things. She texted a friend Dale Aistropp: “Just gona meet Liam with his stuff, av got a bad feeling he’d going to get me banged.”
Mr Aistropp said: “He seemed to want total control of Becky’s life and would do anything to get it. He seemed to have some sort of power over her.”
The inquest continues.