Blinded mother Tina Nash describes her loss

 

A mother-of-two whose boyfriend throttled her unconscious and gouged out her eyes said today he "robbed me of one of the most precious things in life".

Powerfully-built Shane Jenkin, 33, launched the "premeditated, sustained and vicious attack" on his 31-year-old partner last April and also broke her jaw and nose, in her home in Hayle, Cornwall.

He admitted GBH with intent at Truro Crown Court today.

Efforts to save the sight in one of Tina Nash's eyes failed and she was left completely blind.

Tonight it was disclosed that Jenkin was banned from Penzance pubs for five years after attacking a policeman in early 2010.

As details emerged of his explosive, unpredictable temper Ms Nash issued a statement saying she was glad he had "at least taken responsibility for changing my life forever".

She said: "I truly feel that, when he was strangling me, he was trying to murder me.

"He has taken everything from me and robbed me of one of the most precious things in life - my sight.

"I miss the things which people take for granted the most such as seeing the sky and the sea."

Jenkin will be sentenced next month but tonight people who knew him painted a terrifying portrait of a thug who would attack fellow drinkers with no warning.

Jenkin, of Sea Lane, Hayle, Cornwall, was banned several times from pubs in Penzance for violence, but hit with a five-year ban in March 2010 for attacking a policeman, said Helen Cadman, pubwatch chairman.

One barman who asked to remain anonymous said: "What he did to Tina he tried to do to other people - I know someone else he had a fight with and tried to do that to him but he was 6ft 4in and could defend himself.

"He could just turn and go from being nice and polite and jovial then bang, it was like flicking a switch.

"I saw it on several occasions.

"I have seen him talking to people, having a laugh to stamping on them on the floor."

Another man said he had thrown Jenkin out of pubs during the last 10 years and believed he was not a "full ticket".

Jenkin was originally charged with attempted murder.

Ms Nash, who bravely faced him in court at a previous hearing, said she was left feeling "buried alive, claustrophobic and not in control of my life" by the assault.

"I actually look forward to going to sleep because in my dreams I have sight. "It's when I wake up that the truth hits home," she said.

"Some days I just don't want to get up but I'm determined to provide a future for my children and this is my motivation."

Her sons were aged 13 and three at the time of the attack.

Detective Inspector Chris Strickland, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said Jenkin carried out a "premeditated, sustained and vicious attack on a defenceless woman".

"Our view is that Jenkin deliberately strangled Tina into a state of unconsciousness in order that he could inflict these terrible injuries," he said.

"Tina's life will never be the same and her lifelong disability will be a constant reminder of the attack.

"Her injuries were so shocking that friends who saw her soon after the incident found it difficult to stay in the room.

"Tina has displayed incredible strength however and has shown great desire to be able to care for her two children despite not being able to see them as they grow up.

"We would publicly like to thank the members of the public from Penzance and Hayle who helped us locate Jenkin when he fled following the attack.

"Their help was invaluable to our inquiry."

In an interview with the BBC, Ms Nash said she thought she could change Jenkin but warned other victims of domestic violence to get out "before it is too late - it's not going to get better, it's going to get worse".

She said: "It makes me feel like I have been buried alive.

"That is how I can describe it.

"I can hear people around me but I can't even see my own hand in front of my face.

"When I hear my kids, I can't see their faces.

"That's what does it to me - it could have been anything else but the fact I'm not going to see my kids' faces again, I think that's a bit harsh.

"He went too far this time."

She added: "I actually feel that if my kids weren't in the house that night, I actually wish I wasn't still here.

"I'd rather not be here like this - this isn't me."

She said she hoped Jenkin was not "buzzing" over being the last person she ever saw and wondered if he was "bragging about it".

After the attack, Jenkin blamed her, she said.

"He didn't try and help me.

"If I had seen someone in that much pain, looking like that, then the first thing I'd do is get help and he didn't and I can't forgive him for that.

"He said I was like his best mate so I don't understand why he would hurt someone he was supposed to care about."

The victim said there were previous occasions when she helped Jenkin get out of trouble for hurting her.

"I have done so much for him and this is how he repaid me."

Explaining why she could not walk away from the relationship, she said: "I thought I could change him and help him.

"I thought he was getting better."

Lisa Nicholls, 28, from Penzance, helped run the charity group Justice For Tina, which raised £1,500 for her after the horrendous attack.

Ms Nicholls, who is a friend of Ms Nash's sister Lorraine, said: "It is good he has pleaded guilty so Tina doesn't have the trauma of having to stand up in court.

"When we all heard what had happened to Tina, we just wanted to help.

"The town was in complete shock. It's a little tourist town where this sort of thing doesn't happen.

"But Tina and Shane were fairly well known in the local community just because people tend to know each other.

"This is going to be a relief for everyone.

"Every time I see Tina, she always asks about my children, she is always bubbly.

"She has so much going on but she has a big smile, she is a real trouper.

"I think she is very strong and very brave."

PA

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