I thought I was drinking sour milk… the truth was even scarier

A mother has opened up about the sickening abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband – including her ex-husband’s drug use

Joanne, 42, had thought her tea was “out of milk” but Thomas Ferneyhough, 37, had slipped sleeping pills and dog medicine into her cup.

Joanne Ferneyhough has bravely spoken out after her estranged husband launched a

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Joanne Ferneyhough has bravely spoken out after her estranged husband launched a “sinister” campaign against herPhoto credit: SWNS
She alleges Thomas Ferneyhough, 37, drugged her meal with dog medicine and sleeping pills

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She alleges Thomas Ferneyhough, 37, drugged her meal with dog medicine and sleeping pillsPhoto credit: SWNS
Thomas and Joanne at their wedding in June 2017

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Thomas and Joanne at their wedding in June 2017Photo credit: SWNS

He began tormenting Joanne after she tried to end their relationship in September 2017 – following months of “possessive” behavior after they got married in June 2017.

While trying to reconcile their relationship, Ferneyhough began secretly putting the concoction in her meals and cups of tea.

The mother-of-two assumed the milk was “out” when she noticed the usual taste.

Joanne explained: “You can never imagine that the person you love would be capable of such horrible things – like drugging you.

“He once handed me a cup of tea and jokingly said, ‘I could have put anything in it’.

“I didn’t think anything of it at the time – I never thought he’d spill things in my drinks.

“I really struggled after the whole ordeal, but I’m glad he’s finally out of my life.”

Joanne believes the pills he used were veterinary medicine that belonged to her pug.

She said: “In August 2021 I suddenly felt really sick.

“I even went to the GP because I was sleepy the whole time and very lethargic.

“The cup of tea tasted funny, but I always put it away because the milk was gone.

“One time I woke up to him shaking my arm and when I woke up he looked so relieved he even told me he thought I was dead!”

Ferneyhough also hacked her Facebook and messaged friends, urinated on her car and contacted her co-workers to tell them she cheated on him.

Joanne threw him out of her home in December 2021 and he threatened to “burn the house down” – but he continued to harass her over messages.

He then disappeared but sent her audio clips threatening to kill himself and after a search police found him in a field. In January 2022, Joanne informed him that the relationship was over.

Ferneyhough was arrested and admitted to assault, threats of destruction of property, controlling/coercive behavior and harassment at Stafford Crown Court in August 2022.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and despite the subsequent struggle with anxiety, Joanne is finally moving on.

The couple first met through a dating app in 2014 and tied the knot three years later in June 2017.

Within months of their marriage, Joanne noticed a “possessive” side to her new husband.

She continues, “The day after we got married, he said, ‘I own, you know.’

“It went downhill from there.

“He was in a bad mood too — slamming doors and punching holes in them.”

Joanne attempted to end their relationship in September 2017 but continued to despise Ferneyhough to reach out to her.

He would show up at her work, slash her tires, urinate on her car, and spread rumors of an affair around her office.

She was granted a restraining order, but Ferneyhough violated it by continuing to text her.

In October 2017, he was jailed for 10 weeks for molesting Joanne.

After his time in prison, Ferneyhough asked for her back and she decided to give him one last chance.

How to get help

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Keep your phone close at all times.
  • Contact charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat hotline and services like SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarize yourself with the silent solution and report abuse without speaking on the phone, instead dialing ’55’.
  • Always carry some money with you, including change for a payphone or bus ticket.
  • If you suspect your partner will attack you, try moving to a less vulnerable area of ​​the house — for example, where there is an exit and access to a phone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid spaces where you could become trapped, such as B. the bathroom, or where you could be locked in a closet or other small space.

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, the SupportLine is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – messageinfo@supportline.org.uk.

Women’s Aid offers a live chat service available weekdays from 8am to 6pm and weekends from 10am to 6pm.

You can also call the 24-hour toll-free domestic abuse hotline on 0808 2000 247.

Joanne also noted that his temper resurfaced when she started working from home in August 2021.

Ferneyhough kicked a closet while in a virtual meeting, calling her a “pathetic bitch,” and on another occasion she threw a roll of bacon at the wall.

She said: “He said there was fat on the bacon and he didn’t want it – so threw it at the wall.

“Another time he threw his whole plate of tea in the bin after I made it.”

Joanne kicked him out on December 17, 2021 and he threatened to burn the house down.

In January, Ferneyhough dropped out of an investigation into his mental health and continued to message his wife, sending her audio clips saying he was going to cut himself.

After a police search, he was found in a field and Joanne ended things with him for good when he was in the back of the police car.

“I was constantly looking over my shoulder and terrified of what he might do,” she continues.

“At one point I noticed that the bottle of Bella’s medicine at home was almost empty, as were the sleeping pills I had been prescribed.

“I put two and two together and thought he drugged me.”

Thomas Ferneyhough, of Tixall Road, Great Haywood, Stafford, was arrested and admitted to a joint assault – which was stun-related.

He was also convicted in August 2022 at Stafford Crown Court of threats of property destruction, controlling/coercive behavior and harassment.

The charges relate to incidents between January 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021.

To mitigate this, Stephen Rudge said that Ferneyhough “clings to women,” adding, “Once he’s in a relationship, it’s to the point where he’s obsessed with them. He didn’t want to lose her, but his actions drove her away and made it worse.”

After being imprisoned for 30 months, Joanne struggled to sleep and suffered from anxiety following the ordeal.

She said: “I really hope I can help other women who are in a similar situation.

“It’s so hard to let someone go when you want to help them.

“But the best thing you can do is get help and speak up before things escalate.

“It really shook my faith in men, and having a relationship is the furthest thing from me.

“I was very lucky that nothing worse happened.

“It’s been a really difficult time, but I’m getting to a place where I can take care of myself and get on with my life.”

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6891182/drinking-sour-milk-ex-husband/ I thought I was drinking sour milk… the truth was even scarier

DevanCole

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