Mum who was brutally attacked in eight-hour ordeal snares attacker thanks to hypnotherapy
*WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES*
A mother-of-two who was left with memory loss after her boyfriend launched an eight-hour attack on her has managed to bring him to justice – after she was HYPNOTISED into remembering the assault.
Zoe Dronfield, 38, from Coventry, West Mids was left with horrific injuries after her on-off boyfriend Jason Smith, 31, stamped on her head and stabbed her in the neck.
She passed out and didn’t remember the attack at all – until she was HYPNOTISED in reliving the traumatic ordeal.
After giving evidence at Warwick Crown Court, Smith was found guilty of GBH with intent last month.
Zoe said: “After the attack I was a shell of my former self and I’ve never been so low in my life.
“Many women take their own lives after such events but I had to find a way to fight through it and that’s why I wanted to get hypnotherapy- to build me back up mentally and fill in the blanks.
“I couldn’t remember anything but thanks to the hypnotherapy I have been able to put my life back together and come back fighting.”
Brave Zoe suffered brutal injuries including a cracked cheekbone, bleed on the brain from her head being stamped on and a stab wound on her neck, just 1cm from her jugular vein and she woke up to find her Smith slashing his wrists in an attempt to commit suicide after he had attacker her.
Her injuries and mental trauma from the attack meant it took hypnotherapy sessions to help her remember what happened and snare her attacker.
Zoe worked with cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist David Kilmurry a month after her ordeal, and through their sessions Zoe was able to piece together what happened on the night she was attacked – and bring Smith to justice.
Zoe said: “I was able to give evidence in court against Jason all thanks to the hypnotherapy- I would not have been able to do that without David’s help.
“I want to show other women they can do the same we do not have to let abusers win.”
Entrepreneur Zoe had been in a relationship with Jason for a year and he showered her with gifts and meals out at expensive restaurants.
But when he became increasingly controlling she decided to have time out from the relationship.
It was during this separation that Jason met up with Zoe, on February 2 2014, and brutally attacked her while she slept.
Zoe said: “My bedroom was covered in blood and the bed was sodden. It was like a scene from a horror film.
“Jason had never previously showed any signs of being a violent man – quite the opposite – in fact he made me feel like the most precious person in the world.
“He would call me his soul mate and his princess and even said he was my protector. It is shocking I was with this man and not aware of this capability. “
Zoe first met Jason a year ago on social media site Facebook and after chatting online the pair were soon in a relationship.
Zoe said: “He added me on Facebook and we had about 100 mutual friends so I assumed I knew him.
“We got chatting online and he came across as a very professional car salesman and a family man.
“He showered me with compliments and offered to take me out.
“We started dating and he would take me to posh restaurants and top hotels.
“He held doors open and called me his princess. I was very flattered of course.
“I didn’t realise coming on so strongly so early was a red flag.
It was after Zoe’s father became seriously ill that Jason‘s behaviour started to change.
Zoe said: “My dad would help me a lot with my children and Jason stepped in to help out. He was amazing and would look after the children for me when I worked.
“But I realise now this was a way of him controlling my life. At that point he was my saviour- little did I know what destruction was around the corner.
“Jason changed and would stop me from seeing my friends and always just make plans for the two of us.
Zoe asked Jason to move out so he could sort himself out and this is when Jason’s behaviour changed for the worse and he became withdrawn and moody.
A week later, Zoe agreed to meet Jason to talk things through.
Zoe said: “We spent the night talking and eventually Jason fell asleep on my sofa, and I went through to bed.
“The next thing I knew, I woke up covered in blood.”
It was only when Zoe was half conscious and begged Jason to call an ambulance that he eventually put in a call and the ambulance arrived at 11.30am – eight hours after Zoe was first aware of her injuries.
Zoe said: “When I came round after being attacked to see Jason cutting his wrists and blood everywhere I was shocked. It was horrifying and I was confused.
“My first thought was I wasn’t going to die because I needed to be there for my children.
“I grew up without a mother and I didn’t want that for my children.
“The whole house was covered in blood. The bedroom was red and the bed was sodden.
“The bath was filled with water and he was cleaning knives in the bath. There was an 8-inch knife and a meat cleaver.
“I was dying and pleaded with Jason to call an ambulance and eventually he did. He was on the phone for 13 minutes and when the ambulance and police arrived I was unconscious.”
Zoe said: “The ambulance stretchered me down the loft stairs and the next flight of stairs and remember them working on me in the front lounge.
“My next recollection is being in A&E and I could hear Jason shouting in the next bay. I was still in and out of consciousness and they gave me a massive dose of painkilling drugs to ensure I could not feel the pain.
“While in hospital I received two CT scans and was monitored consistently and given my own room. I was so unaware as to what had just happened I was still asking where Jason was and what had happened. I was oblivious as to what had really happened. It was a complete unprovoked attack.
Zoe said: “With David’s help I have been able to put this whole terrible ordeal behind me. Seeing Jason found guilty has given me closure and allowed me to move on with my life.
David Kilmurry, 39, cognitive behavioral hypnotherapist, from Coventry, said: “Zoe has made an amazing recovery from devastating physical and psychological injuries, to go to court and give evidence.
“I have worked with Zoe and I am proud to have helped her to retrieve her memory and rebuild her confidence following the trauma.
“I feel that her development has been quite amazing. Her head injury was described as moderate to severe closed head. Of the people that survive this type of injury 75% never return to work. Zoe has not only returned to work but has gone and got a better job and set up a charity and has been helping others less fortunate as herself.
“Directly after the event Zoe had no recollection of what had happened to her. It wasn’t until later on down the hypnotherapy line that the trust built up and she was confident enough to go to “parts unknown” we embarked on some regression to the event and the detail she remembered was quite amazing even in and out of unconsciousness.
“A heavyweight boxer would not suffer these injuries, and would not enter the ring if this was a real risk and Zoe has been incredibly brave to go through this ordeal with such superhuman strength.”
Jason Smith, from Coventry will be sentenced at Coventry Crown Court next month.