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'I built my whole world around my childhood sweetheart - but the reality was vile'

A mum has bravely spoken out about her childhood sweetheart's vile campaign of abuse against her in a bid to urge other women to seek help.

Sarah Etchells was in a relationship with Lee Ellison for 20 years. The pair had two children together and were 'very happy' in the early stages.

But behind closed doors, for almost four years, Ellison subjected her to horrific controlling and abusive behaviour. On one occasion, he told her 'I'll strangle the life out of you' as he throttled her.

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A court heard he called her a 'sl*g', a 'rat' and told her she was a 'p**s stain [on] society'. He repeatedly demeaned her with personal insults and would 'constantly criticise her her parenting'.

In August of last year, Ellison, from Wythenshawe, was locked up for one year and 11 months after pleading guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour and intentional strangulation at Manchester Crown Court. Sarah has now spoken out for the first time about her horrific ordeal.

The 42-year-old described how Ellison 'smashed her confidence to bits'. She said she 'wasn't allowed to go out, straighten her hair or get her nails done'.

Sarah claimed Ellison would pour cold tea or coffee down her and tip her out of bed. The brave mum-of-two said she now wants other women to learn from her experience.

"I built my whole world around Lee, and he’d always tell people how much he loved me, and he couldn’t live without me", Sarah said. "But in reality, he was vile to me.

"He tipped me out of bed, poured cold tea and coffee on me, and called me horrible names. I wasn’t allowed to go out, to have friends, to straighten my hair or to get my nails done.

"He totally smashed my