Stevenage woman speaks out after bodybuilder ex-boyfriend beats her to a pulp

Richard Covington.

Richard Covington. - Credit: Archant

A woman who was battered by her bodybuilder ex-boyfriend on her birthday is urging other victims of domestic abuse to have the courage to bring their attackers to book.

The injuries the woman sustained.

The injuries the woman sustained. - Credit: Archant

Richard Covington was convicted at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court last week of assaulting his former partner four times on October 18 and 19 last year.

The woman, who does not wish to be named, was beaten so badly by the personal trainer that she had to be rushed to the Lister Hospital’s emergency department by her friends.

She said: “I do not know how I was in that situation. He made me feel so worthless and said everything was my fault.

“We were together for more than two years and things came to a head on my birthday last year. We had an argument and he beat up me so badly.

The injuries the woman sustained.

The injuries the woman sustained. - Credit: Archant


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“It left me with bruises and cuts everywhere but I didn’t want to go to A&E because I didn’t want to get him in trouble. He only stopped attacking me when one of my friends came round.

“They dragged me to hospital and called the police who took him away.”

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After the assault the woman was supported by officers from Herts police who took her phone away so Covington – who once served in the French Foreign Legion and works as a personal trainer at Pumped Gym in Walkern Road – couldn’t contact her.

After recovering from the physical trauma the woman had six months of intensive counselling to help her rebuild her life.

She now has this advice for anyone who is in a similar situation: “I think anyone in a controlling or violent relationship needs to know it is never their fault, no matter what their partner or his family members say.

“Each individual is responsible for their own behaviour.

“One of the key things that made me accept this wasn’t my fault was when my psychologist asked me if I was in an argument with someone else would they react the same way, by using violence? And the truth is they wouldn’t. Love should not hurt.”

Covington, 29, from Potton, was bailed on the condition he did not contact the Stevenage woman and will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, July 14.

If you are suffering from domestic abuse, whatever form it takes, call police on 101 or the Herts Sunflower Centre 08088 088 088, www.hertssunflower.org).

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