A BUSINESSMAN was tortured and branded with a red-hot iron by his lover when he refused her sex.
Ian McNicholl, 54, was also bludgeoned with a bar, had burning cigarettes pushed up his nostrils, was repeatedly struck in the face with a mobile phone and attacked with a hammer.
And boiling water was poured over his groin by seven-stone Black Country bully Michelle Williamson.
During the 18 months of sickening abuse, Ian suffered cracked ribs, a fractured skull, broken cheekbones and a smashed nose. He has had to have numerous operations.
The sustained attacks, he says, were usually triggered by his refusal to have sex, the Birmingham Mail reports.
Now Ian is an ambassador for anti-household-violence charity Mankind Initiative and hopes his words will help remove the taboo shrouding the chronically under-reported crime.
Michelle, 45, from Wolverhampton, was handed a seven-year prison sentence in 2009 by Grimsby crown court, Lincs, for causing grievous bodily harm and is now free.
Alan, six foot and 13 stone when his ordeal began, still carries the physical and mental scars.
“She got off on the violence because there was never any remorse,” he said. “She’d do it, then send me out for cigarettes. She definitely got off on it.”
The abuse began four months after the pair met by chance at Birmingham’s New Street Station.
Michelle thrashed Ian across the face with a vacuum cleaner lead after he refused to reveal sexual details of a previous relationship.
Then the violence rapidly cranked up to the point where he feared for his life.
Typically, Michelle would horse-whip her partner with a mobile phone if he refused sex.
“She’d ram it in my face,” he said. “She’d rant, ‘You don’t love me enough, you have five minutes to be ready for sex’.
“That, of course, is the last thing on your mind. Then she’d say, ‘You now have four minutes, three minutes…’
“At the end of five minutes she’d blocked out what she had done.”
Innocent household appliances become potentially deadly weapons in Michelle’s hands.
“She was calmly ironing on one occasion,” recalled Ian. “She pulled the plug and placed the iron on my left forearm and shoulder. She said, ‘Stand up and take your t-shirt off or I’ll steam your face’.”
Ian, incredibly, did what she asked. He was then branded between the shoulder blades.
In separate incidents, Ian had a magnum of champagne smashed across his knees, and cigarettes stubbed out on his chest and shoved into his nostrils. Twice he was scalded with boiling water.
But he insisted: “I have been so lucky, I don’t have a scar from it. The second time I was wearing a pair of joggers and I rolled them up tight to protect my groin. It was excruciating, simply excruciating.”
The abuse could be triggered by simply turning off the heating. Often Ian had a beating when he neglected to tell his girlfriend-from-hell that he loved her.
His ordeal only ended when a neighbour raised the alarm following an orgy of violence that saw Ian struck with a phone, a metal bar from a rowing machine and a hammer.
“She hit me with anything she could get her hands on,” he said. “I genuinely believed she was going to kill me. I was covered in blood.
“She spat, she punched and it only stopped when she fell asleep.”
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Michelle had warned her partner to blame bruises on fictitious heavies chasing an unpaid gambling debt.
“When the police van came, she ran downstairs,” he recalled. “She said, ‘What has Ian done this time? I’ll bet he’s been gambling’.
“In the van, I gave a made-up description of two men. The officer asked me to roll up my sleeve and it was a real mess – it was purple all the way down to my fingers.
“He said, ‘I don’t believe you, I believe the person who did this is inside that house right now’.
“As a kid, you blow up a balloon, then slowly let the air out and flatten it. That was what it felt like. Where I found the energy to say that ‘Yes’ I do not know. It took so much energy.”
In 2012, Ian met actor Alan Halsall, easy-going Coronation Street mechanic Tyrone, who was at the centre of a battered-husband plot line that gripped the nation.
After the emotional chat, Alan said: “I’ve struggled to get my head around what Ian has told me.”
Ian and Michelle met in September 2006 when he was working in the Black Country as a business training adviser.
At first there was no sign of the demons within Michelle. That changed soon after she moved into his Grimsby home.
“She was friendly, she had a good sense of humour,” he recalled. “Perpetrators will strike when they know they have control.
“There is a grooming process. Manipulation leads to isolation, isolation gives the perpetrators control. My tactic was to not do anything that would make her angry.”
Ian was also warned that Michelle had ‘well-connected’ friends who would exact terrible revenge if he moved out.
“It became more and more violent,” he said. “I lost 25 per cent of my body weight, I wasn’t going out, I wasn’t thinking straight. I was told if I tried to leave I would be killed – and I believed it.”
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