Woman who tried to 'boil her husband' jailed for four years

The horrific domestic abuse attack left Ken Gregory with first and second degree burns

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A woman who tried to "boil her husband" by pouring scalding water over him after being told they were "getting divorced" has been jailed for four years.

Ken Gregory, 65, was the victim of a horrific domestic abuse attack which left him with first and second degree burns to his back and scalp after his wife Teresa Gilbertson, a former special constable, poured boiling water over his head in their bungalow in Peterborough last year. The scars from the assault remain and may never fade.

The court heard that the attack had been a “very deliberate attempt to boil her husband.”

Prosecutor Thomas Brown said: “The marriage had become extremely strained and there were underlying difficulties concerning money, the conduct of Teresa Gilbertson and her unrealistic expectation of what he could provide.

“She was demanding money for doing housework and to buy cars.”

On the day of the attack, Gilbertson went to make a cup of tea but returned with a two-litre jug of freshly boiled water, which she poured over her husband's head, causing "excruciating pain."

Mr Gregory after the attack

Roger Harrison, mitigating, said Gilbertson had been provoked when Mr Gregory said, “That’s it, we’re getting divorced.”

Gilbertson, 60, was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and, as well as a jail sentence, was given a seven year restraining order preventing her from approaching Mr Gregory.

During the sentencing, Judge Peter Murphy said it was a “very sad case” but said he saw “no trace of remorse” in her.

The court heard that the attack “destroyed” Mr Gregory’s trust and “caused depression”. 

Speaking out after the conviction, Gregory said that it was important to challenge the stigma surrounding men who are victims of abuse.

The retired BT manager said: “I had never imagined something like this would happen to me.

“As a man who is a bit older and who isn’t exactly small, there is a perception that you can’t be a victim of domestic violence.

“But it should be the same message that they put out for women many years ago: don’t be frightened, you don’t have to put up with it.”

Mr Gregory, pictured earlier this month, is speaking out for other male domestic abuse victims

Statistics produced by ManKind Initiative, which campaigns for male abuse victims, show that 38 per cent of domestic abuse victims are male.

Chair of ManKind Mark Brookes told The Independent, "While Mr Gregory's case is awful we should not be overly surprised that domestic abuse can happen to men too. We need a real sea change in public attitude and recognition in that domestic abuse can affect anyone."

"There are still too many barriers that men face in feeling comfortable in coming forward and getting help," he added.

According to the charity, men in particular suffer because of lack of awareness and lack of social services to support them.

Mr Gregory met Gilbertson met through ballroom dancing following the death of Mr Gregory’s first wife of more than 30 years in 2008.

They are now in the process of getting divorced.

Additional reporting by Press Association