Jake Boles walked free after slamming Jody Duggan’s head against a wall, smothering her with a pillow, spitting in her face and throwing her down stairs
Twisted thug Jake Boles (24), from Ratborne Avenue, Ashtown, Dublin 15, subjected his then-partner Jody Duggan (22) to a sickening series of abuse during their relationship.
He was responsible for a string violent assaults on a weekly basis that included punching her, slamming her head against a wall, smothering her with a pillow, throwing her down stairs and spitting in her face.
Evil Boles tried to control every aspect of her life – from her finances, to where she would go, who she could see and what she could wear, even down to the underwear she put on.
The thug also locked her in rooms, controlled what she could eat, hacked into her online accounts, tracked her every movement on her phone, and isolated her from her friends and family to the point where she wanted to end her life.
He also threatened to have her killed, said he would abduct her and her young brother and tie them up while he burned down her family home with her parents inside – and would make her watch while doing it.
Brave Jody, who suffers from PTSD as a result of the abuse, told the Sunday World that when she tried to leave him he would pin her to the ground, hold a knife to his neck and say he was going to kill himself and blame it on her.
“This will stay with me forever, it won’t go away. The cuts and bruises will go but the emotional stuff will never go.
“Jake took so much from me. Some things I don’t think I’ll ever get back. I feel stuck in the time this happened to me,” Jody said.
Despite the horror abuse, Boles – who the Probation Service deemed to be of moderate risk of re-offending – walked free from Trim Circuit Court on Friday with a suspended sentence.
The court was told that his new partner recently had a baby with him and he was working in the security firm owned by his father.
References were provided by the security firm and his new partner, who supported him through the court case.
Boles and Jody started going out together when Jody was 17 and Boles was 19, but he became abusive and she broke up with him. They rekindled the relationship two years later and he initially pretended to be a changed man – but it wasn’t long before the mask slipped.
“When we got back together, I thought he was the best boyfriend ever and he was so nice but, bit by bit, it was you can’t wear that, you can’t do that or go there.
“He would make me have my location (phone) on, so if I went a different way home he’d call me and say ‘why are you going a different way home, who are you with’. It was all about control.”
Jody said she was still so young and it was her first relationship so didn’t realise the severity of what was happening at first.
He picked away at Jody’s insecurities as his toxic behaviour increased.
“He tried to turn me away from my family, saying they didn’t love me and I was an inconvenience for them. It was either him or them and if I chose them, he’d kill himself.
“He said my friends hated me, nobody liked me. I was so young and insecure. I didn’t really understand what was going on. I lost all interest in myself. I was an absolute mess.”
As well as controlling her, he would be physically violent and assaulted her on a weekly basis. The attacks included punches, slamming her head off walls, smothering her with a pillow until she passed out, spitting in her face and even throwing her down a flight of stairs.
He would also smash up rooms and her possessions in his rage.
“When he hurt me, he would never be remorseful afterwards. He would just tell me it was my fault.”
Jody, who is a make-up artist, would try to hide her injuries from her family and friends.
“I was hiding it because I was so embarrassed. I’d hide bruises and black eyes. I’d blame injuries on me being clumsy.”
Efforts to control were endless.
“I would be out and he would literally pull up my dress and say you’re not allowed to wear that underwear.
“He took my passport. He smashed my phone. He stole a set of keys for my house. He told me he’d light my house on fire, tie me and my little brother up outside and leave my mam and dad in there and watch them burn.”
Jody broke down in tears as she described how he would constantly lock her in rooms or hold her against her will.
On one occasion when she was feeling ill after eating food, he wouldn’t let go to the bathroom.
“I told him I’m going to get sick but he made me stand there and get sick in my hands because he wouldn’t let me leave the room. Then he said it was my fault.
She was at the brink of suicide.
“It got to the point where I was self-harming because I didn’t want to be with him.”
In March 2019, they were due to go on holiday to Amsterdam but Jody said she didn’t want to go.
“I didn’t want to go because I was so scared. He pinned me down held a knife to his neck and said if you don’t come with me I’m going to go to Amsterdam, I’m going to kill myself over there and I’m going to leave a letter to say it was your fault,” she recalls.
She left him April 2019 but he attacked her again when she went to collect things from his house.
“He grabbed my phone and pushed me down the stairs when I went to collect my things.” After this incident she told her mother and went to the Gardaí.
Jody got a protection order, but Boles continued to threaten her by contacting her friends and her new boyfriend.
“He said he was watching me and knew where we were and was saying he was going to punch our heads in, stand all over us.”
She said gardaí told her he wasn’t breaching the order as he hadn’t contacted her directly. Boles pleaded guilty to coercive control, a number of assaults on Jody and criminal damage on various dates in 2018 in 2019.
He finally apologised for actions when he handed in a written apology to court on Friday.
“He’s not sorry. I was absolutely disgusted with the letter. He only did that because the judge asked him for an apology. He didn’t write the apology. I can tell by the language in it.”
Judge Orla Crowe sentenced Boles to two years for the assaults and two years for the coercive control offences, with the criminal damage offences taken into consideration but the sentences were suspended in full on a number of conditions including that he does not contact Jody again.
Boles young age, the fact he is a new father, has steady employment, is not taking drugs and was engaging in counselling were taken into account in mitigation.
Jody said she was disappointed with the sentence and will be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life.
“I’m always on edge and even though I know I have my protection order I don’t feel safe... When I go out, I worry he’ll be there.”
She said she will carry what happened to her for the rest of her life.
“I not only have carried that weight but have dealt with him threatening the people I love and care about well after I left.”
“People don’t realise the impact an abusive relationship can have on someone the cuts and bruises fade but the psychological and emotional abuse that I endured has scared me and will sit with me forever.”