Domestic abuse victim describes moment she was mown down by boyfriend in Leeds street

Louise Conyers. PIC: Simon Hulme
Louise Conyers. PIC: Simon Hulme
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A DOMESTIC abuse victim who was mown down by her abusive boyfriend has spoken of her relief at seeing him jailed over the horrific attack.

Louise Conyers, 22, told the YEP: “I just think he is scum for what he has done and the things he put me through.”

They say love is blind and I was stupid for putting up with the way he treated me.

Louise Conyers

“I can’t believe anyone could be so cruel.

“They say love is blind and I was stupid for putting up with the way he treated me. I hope I can slowly put my life back together now that he is in prison for a long time.”

Steven Conner, 28, was given an 11-year sentence this week after a jury heard he followed Louise along a street before mounting the pavement and ploughing into her.

Conner carried out the attack on Viaduct Road, Kirkstall, in July last year after the couple had rowed at his home in Armley.

Louise was walking back to her home in Hyde Park when the British Gas worker jumped into his car and used it as a weapon against her.

Recalling the ordeal, Louise said: “I can remember it clearly. I was looking down at my phone, sending a text message, and the next thing there was a huge bang and I was crumpled in a heap on the floor, screaming and unable to move.” Louise suffered a broken leg and horrific cuts and bruises as she was trapped between the vehicle and a wall. Conner stayed at the scene and pretended not to know who Louise was.

He was arrested when police arrived and she told them Conner was her boyfriend.

She added: “It was so cold and callous the way he behaved. He refused to comment on anything right up until the trial and then told a pack of lies to try and save himself.”

The attack took place seven months into a relationship during which Louise described how Conner became increasingly volatile and aggressive towards her after drinking and taking class A drugs. She said: “When I was first introduced to him things were really good, I thought he was clever and a really nice person. But people didn’t see a side to him that I did. He took cocaine almost every day.

“He would always think he was better than me and everyone else. He could become very aggressive and once held a knife to my throat when we argued.

“I realise now that I should have done something about the relationship then. But, as they say, love is blind.”

Louise is now hoping to start a new career as a self-employed mobile nail technician. She also plans to continue to work as a drug support worker.

Conner was considered as displaying psychopathic traits by doctors who assessed him after the attack.

Conner, who showed no remorse, was told he must serve six years in prison followed by an extended five-year period on licence

The judge who jailed him described it as a “deeply troubling case”. Judge Penelope Belcher said: “It is astonishing that she was not more seriously hurt. You were very clever in the witness box. It is plain that you are intelligent and that is an example of you avoid responsibility.”

Louise praised the work of the Leeds-based Together Women Project and detectives who supported her through court proceedings.

She said: “I was left on my own to cope with my injuries and then had to face the trauma of having to go into the witness box in court to give evidence.”

“I don’t think I could have coped without their support. I hope if anything good can come of my case it will be that it encourages other victims of domestic abuse to come forward because there are people out there who will believe you and help you find justice.”

Det Insp Dave Cowley, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “It is genuinely reassuring to know that the victim in this case has valued the support that safeguarding officers and our partner agencies have been able to provide to her. Not only has it helped her to move on from this abusive relationship but it has ensured that a dangerous offender has been brought to justice and given a lengthy term in prison where he can present no further risk to others.

“Tackling domestic abuse remains a key focus for the police and our partner agencies, and giving victims the confidence to report incidents is vital to that work. It is widely acknowledged that offences are under-reported and we hope that highlighting successful cases like this will help to encourage others victims to come forward.

“We will continue to do all we can to help and support anyone who reports domestic abuse.”