ITV weather star Ruth Dodsworth breaks silence as ex jailed for stalking and harassing her

Ruth Dodsworth discusses abuse she suffered from husband

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Ruth Dodsworth, 45, has broken her silence after her ex-husband Jonathan Wignall was sentenced to three years in prison for his controlling and coercive behaviour towards her over a nine-year period. Wignall pleaded guilty to one count of coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking before he was due to stand trial.

Wignall pleaded guilty to one count of coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking before he was due to stand trial.

He was jailed and given a restraining order last month.

The court heard that he also prevented Ruth from socialising with friends and family and even had a tracking device fitted to her car.

The ITV weather host bravely opened up about the struggles she faced before she left her partner in a new interview with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 2 today.

Ruth explained that the former couple’s relationship began on a “loving and romantic” note before the abuse became an issue.

Host Victoria quizzed: “So when you look back what do you see were the signs that you didn’t notice when you were in the middle of it?”

Ruth recalled: “Thinking about it, it was a temper that was there from day one and to start with it was never directed at me.

“I’d see him speak to work colleagues, I saw him lose his temper with family members and it was over what I would consider to be really trivial things, money, just anything that would set him off anything that annoyed him.


“At first that was taken out on other people and then very quickly as you form that bond between the two of you and you do become the closest person in their world, you’re on hand, you’re close by and that temper very quickly turns on you.”

She continued: “Looking back, that’s exactly what happened, a little bit of jealousy, a little bit of ‘you’re my wife’ at the start is almost quite flattering, it’s quite nice, but actually that then escalates into something rather more sinister and with us that happened very, very quickly and the thing is, at the time I just didn’t see it.

“At its worse which I would say was probably over the past ten years or so from the controlling to keeping an eye on me.

“He would follow me around the house, follow me to the bathroom, to the show, took hundreds and hundreds of photos of me.

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“Most of which I wasn’t aware of, some I would notice, brushing my teeth and I’d say to him ‘why do you want a photograph of me brushing my teeth?’

“’Because you’re my wife’ would always be his reply.

“Going to work, going anywhere outside of the home would be hundreds and hundreds of phone calls at its worse, constantly asking who I am with.”

The presenter explained: “If it was a male, he didn’t like that, any male was a threat to him. If I was at work, out filming for example I would make sure he had every last detail so that he knew where I was and that I wasn’t doing anything I shouldn’t be and knew who I was with.”

Ruth went on to tell Victoria that the abuse became physical as her ex-husband’s drinking escalated.

The terrifying ordeal Ruth faced was “often” witnessed by their two children.

She said: “That became really frightening, the more verbally abusive he got, the more physical behind closed doors often in front of the children but not in front of other people.

“He would lose his temper, he would square up to me, he would spit in my face, he would grab me by the throat and pin me against the wall, he pushed me and I fractured a rib and that all escalated within the last ten year and it was just terrifying.”

The television personality also revealed that Wignall attempted to use her thumb to unlock her phone while she was sleeping one night.

She divulged: “He had got my mobile phone and like anyone else who has a mobile phone it has touch identity and he had got my thumb over the ID lock on the phone. He tried to pay my children to get into my phone.

“For him my phone was a constant source of contact with other people and in his mind I was having conversations with people and shouldn’t and that couldn’t be further from the truth but to him it was a constant threat and something that he couldn’t handle.”

If you need help or advice, contact the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. The website also has an online messaging service.

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