Mother-of-two, 27, tells how arm was 'almost hacked off' by boyfriend

Mother-of-two, 27, tells how her

Mother-of-two, 27, tells how arm was 'almost hacked off' by boyfriend

Mother-of-two, 27, tells how her arm was ‘almost hacked off’ by her boyfriend in a terrifying machete attack that left her scarred and too frightened to go on dates

  • Michaela Westoby, from North Yorkshire, attacked by Paul Oliver, 24, in July 2017
  • Waited in car and bundled her inside before she jumped out while it was moving
  • Oliver, from Stockton-on-Tees, was jailed for nine years after admitting assault 

A mother-of-two has told how her arm was 'almost hacked off' by her boyfriend in a terrifying machete attack that left her too frightened to go on dates. 

Michaela Westoby, 27, of Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, was viciously assaulted by 24-year-old Paul Oliver in July 2017, leaving her with a three-inch gash which needed 30 stitches.

Oliver, of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, was jailed for nine years after admitting assault.

Michaela Westoby, 27, of Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, was attacked by 24-year-old Paul Oliver in July 2017, leaving her with a 3-inch gash which needed 30 stitches. She is seen with her injured left arm
Ms Westoby with Oliver

Michaela Westoby, 27, of Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, was attacked by 24-year-old Paul Oliver in July 2017, leaving her with a 3-inch gash which needed 30 stitches. She is seen on the left with her injured left arm and on the right with Oliver 

Despite getting justice, Ms Westoby says she will have to live with the consequences of the attack for the rest of her life.

'I'm too scared to date anyone now and I'm so self-conscious of my scarred arm that I wear long-sleeved tops to cover it up,' she said. 

'I struggle to pick things up as I can't feel the thumb on my left hand. I'm glad that Paul was jailed but I'll forever be looking over my shoulder.'

Ms Westoby bumped into Oliver, her ex-boyfriend's friend, in June 2017 when she was moving house.

Oliver, of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, was jailed for nine years after admitting assault

Oliver, of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, was jailed for nine years after admitting assault

'He offered to help me shift my boxes,' she said. 'We went out for dinner that night, and over the next month we had two more dates. I realised that I fancied him.'

In July 2017, Ms Westoby and a friend headed into town to pick Oliver up.

'We were going to spend some time together,' she said. 'But when we found him, he was acting drunk slurring his words and stumbling around.

'Paul spotted me and stormed over. He lunged at me in the car and punched me in the face. I jumped out and ran inside a nearby pub.

'My nose was bleeding so I cleaned myself up in the toilets. My friend had followed me inside and he told me that Paul had ran off.

'Then Paul called me, saying he was sorry and that he didn't mean to hurt me. But I hung up on him.'

Too scared to leave the pub, Ms Westoby and her friend had a drink and ordered some food. They stayed there for six hours.

Despite getting justice, Ms Westoby says she will have to live with the consequences of the attack for the rest of her life, including these dreadful injuries
Ms Westoby's arm where the machete hit

Despite getting justice, Ms Westoby says she will have to live with the consequences of the attack for the rest of her life, including these dreadful injuries 

The machete Oliver used in the drunken attack. She was able to get away by jumping out of his car

The machete Oliver used in the drunken attack. She was able to get away by jumping out of his car 

When they left that evening, Oliver was parked outside waiting for her. He was holding a machete.

'Paul walked towards us, brandishing the weapon,' she said. 'Then he swung it at my face but I held my arms up to protect myself.

'The machete sliced into my left arm and I heard a sickening crack as the bone broke. It felt like my arm was hanging off.

'Suddenly Paul dragged me to the car. My friend was trying to grab me while blood was gushing out of my arm. I thought I was going to die.'

Oliver shoved Ms Westoby into the car and sped off.

Ms Westoby had a metal plate put into her arm and received 30 stitches

Ms Westoby had a metal plate put into her arm and received 30 stitches

In a desperate attempt to get away, she flung open the door and jumped out of the moving car.

Thankfully a police car pulled up with its lights on. Officers explained that Ms Westoby's friend had called police so they'd been searching for the car.

Paramedics arrived and they took her to Peterborough City Hospital.

'Doctors revealed that I was lucky to be alive as I'd lost a lot of blood,' she said. 

'They told me they might not be able to save my arm, as the gash had gone through my ligaments, tendons and bone. I was devastated.'

In the meantime, Oliver was arrested after officers found him hiding in a garden.

That day, Ms Westoby underwent surgery where doctors put a metal plate into her arm and she received 30 stitches.

She was discharged from hospital four days later.

In May 2018, Oliver, of Stockton-on-Tees, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place at Cambridge Crown Court. He was jailed for nine years.

Ms Westoby added: 'Even now two years on from the attack, I've lost the use of my thumb and I can't hold things with my left hand. But I'm thankful that doctors were able to save my arm.

'I'm also self-conscious of my scar that I cover it up with long-sleeved jackets. Paul practically hacked off my arm and I'm so glad that I managed to escape him.

'I don't understand why he attacked me either, but I certainly never thought that dating him would change my life in such a devastating way.' 

Ms Westoby
Ms Westoby with Oliver

Ms Westoby (seen on the right with Oliver) said: 'I don't understand why he attacked me, but I certainly never thought that dating him would change my life in such a devastating way'

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