Courageous Raunds domestic violence survivor slashed with mug by ‘selfish’ ex urges others to come forward

A man who was smashed on the head, face and neck with a broken mug and shoved down the stairs by an abusive former partner has told how he can finally move on with his life now his ex is behind bars ‘where he belongs.’

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:38 pm
Ashley Brittin, a domestic violence survivor from Raunds, who has spoken out about what happened to him. NNL-190725-151926005

Ashley Brittin, 30, had been in a relationship with Daniel Nielson for two years but after the pair broke up, Mr Brittin had kindly allowed him to stay in his Raunds home while he got himself back on his feet.

Mr Brittin, who was working as a hairdresser and a singer at the time of the attack in February, had a minor row with Nielson because he had poured a cup of tea down the sink that the attacker said he hadn’t finished.

The 27-year-old defendant then launched a violent attack on Mr Brittin, smashing the tea mug over his head the continuing to slash him with the broken handle more than ten times, before shoving him down the stairs.

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Daniel Nielson, who Judge Mayo described as 'selfish' NNL-190725-142807005

During sentencing, he was told by the judge that he was ‘selfish’ and had shown little remorse for the crime.

Prosecuting, Victoria Rose, said that as Mr Brittin poured the tea away Nielson became ‘angrier and angrier’ and said ‘Nobody throws my tea away.’

He continued to bash the mug handle over his head after broke up and then, as Mr Brittin tried to escape, he shoved him down the stairs, where he landed at the bottom and blacked-out.

He managed to raise the alarm with a neighbour and was taken to hospital where he was found to have a 5cm laceration to the side of his neck as well as cuts to his temple, ear and the back of his neck. He also had multiple cuts to his hands from trying to defend himself.

The side of Ashley Brittin's head following the incident NNL-190725-142732005

Meanwhile, Nielson had got changed, gone to a friend’s house and said that he had to find somewhere to stay that night. His friend, who did not realise the extent of the attack, was about to take him to a hotel when the police arrived.

He told police he had seen ‘red mist’ and was charged with grievous bodily harm to which he pleaded guilty in court.

But astonishingly, he was released on bail and since the incident has tried to taunt his victim on social media by buying a replica of the mug and posting a picture of it saying he’d had to buy a new one as the other one got broken.

Surrounded by supportive friends and family, Mr Brittin bravely read his own victim impact statement to Northampton Crown Court this morning (Thursday, July 25).

The smashed mug handle that was used as a weapon against Mr Brittin NNL-190725-142747005

He said: “In February I was just a regular 30-year-old guy.

“I was outgoing and loved chatting to people.”

He said he’d been working as a hairdresser since 2006 and loved his second job as a singer. But since the attack he’s only been able to sing twice and has had to give up his job as a hairdresser because of damage to tendons in his hand.

Mr Brittin went on: “It’s destroyed me in so many ways both physically and mentally. I’ll always have the scars as a permanent reminder.

A piece of the smashed mug covered in Ashley Brittin's blood NNL-190725-142757005

“I took pride in my appearance but now I have a scar that runs down the side of my face.

“It makes me feel absolutely devastated.

“I’ve a dent in my head and scars on my hairline and I shouldn’t have them. I didn’t deserve them.”

Mr Brittin said he struggles to sleep since the incident and is now having to move from the home he lived in for four years.

“I can’t even imagine getting close to anybody ever again.

“Daniel has never taken this seriously or shown any remorse. He just doesn’t care. He ran from that flat and left me for dead.

“What kind of person then goes out and buys the exact same mug? A person that thinks the whole thing is one big joke. A person that lives in a fantasy land.”

The defendant, wearing ripped white jeans and a rainbow-coloured shirt, closed his eyes as his former partner spoke.

A psychiatric report said that Nielson, who now lives at of Lon Islwyn, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, was remorseful and said that he would take part in courses in prison to try to learn more about what had made him act in such a way. He said that he hadn’t meant for Mr Brittin to see the Facebook posts.

Sentencing him to four years and ten months in prison and imposing a ten-year restraining order, Judge Rupert Mayo said: “The relationship had broken down catastrophically and a nasty row between you broke out.

“This was a prolonged attack, deliberate and intended to cause him serious injury.

“You then humiliated him further by pushing him down stairs.

“The pre-sentence report makes depressing reading. You’re a self-centred and extremely selfish man who has shown little remorse. It’s all about you.”

Speaking after the case to the Northants Telegraph, Ashley Brittin said that he had found new work as a flight attendant which he was enjoying. He said: “I’m feeling happy that this is over now and he’s got what he deserved.

“It’ll hopefully make him think twice before he decides to attack anybody else in the future.

“My advice would be to not be scared of reporting domestic violence - if you’re a man, if you’re straight, bi, gay, whatever, you should always come forward because one day you might end up dead.

“Northants Police have been amazing all the way through. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have made it here.”