Vile boyfriend forced stillborn baby’s ashes down mother’s throat in horrific Wigan domestic abuse case
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The victim, Erin Grigsby, said she was “scared for her life” during her torrid six-month relationship with Wigan man Paul McCann.
In the most sickening episode, McCann forced the ashes of Erin’s recently stillborn baby into her mouth. He also put a noose around her neck and strangled her until she passed out.
McCann, 46, of Warrington Road, Abram, appeared at Bolton Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to intentional strangulation, two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), and engaging in controlling behaviour.
Before sentencing, an impact statement was read out on Erin’s behalf by the prosecution, outlining the terrifying abuse she suffered at McCann’s hands.
When mum-of-one Erin, 38, first met Paul via the dating website Plenty of Fish, she was already four months’ pregnant with her second child and living in supported housing.
She was subsequently advised by social services to put in a Clare’s Law request on McCann, himself a dad-of-two. Clare’s Law allows police to disclose information to a victim, or potential victim, of domestic abuse about their partner's or ex-partner's previous abusive or violent offending.
However, it took four months for the information to be released to her – by which time Erin had already suffered appalling treatment at the hands of McCann, who it is believed has a history of abusing women he is in relationships with.
Erin said that initially their relationship had been a positive one.
"He made me feel he was my knight in shining armour. He was loving, doting and wanted to be a dad to the baby I was carrying. We attended scans together and made huge plans for the future,” she said.
“Clare's Law was put in for but it took about four months for anything to come back. In that time my existence became an unimaginable hell.
“Trying to convince me he loved me, he went out and got my name tattooed on his neck. It made me feel anxious and like I was his property as I had not consented to this.
“I believe all the stress led to the worst day of my life - the birth of my beautiful stillborn daughter Nellie.
“I had put the initial labour pains down to stress. I'd ask Paul to give me space and he wouldn't stop ringing. I now believe she would be here if he had left me alone.
“I gave in to his demands and discharged myself from hospital. I came back to Wigan with Paul two days after Nellie was born. I was now living with him in an area I did not know.
“The second day of living with him was the first time he showed any physical abuse. He tipped the sofa up I was sat on, he cut my bank card up and took financial control over me. He was arrested that night because he rang the police to say I was abusive. I was in shock.
“Over the next four weeks he became ever more abusive.
“The Saturday before my daughter’s cremation, he beat me really badly. I was covered in bruises. I had to put makeup on my arms to cover them to go to my own daughter's funeral.
“After that it just got worse and worse. Not a week went by where I was not black and blue. He even said to me, he wasn't being funny but don't I bruise easily.
“In the most horrific act of abuse he not only harmed me, but my perfect sleeping Nellie, pulling her from her final resting place.
“There are no words for his sadistic actions and smile as he did the unthinkable. He poured my daughter's ashes in my face and mouth, forcing me to eat her, forcing my mouth open and shut.
“In this moment I wanted to die. I was desperate to die. I wanted him to kill me, I need this to be over. This will haunt me every day of my life in my waking moments and in my sleep. The night terrors are unbearable, and I’ve forever lost part of Nellie to his evil actions.
“I can’t look at her photos, her tiny hand prints or her ashes without remembering what he did and how he desecrated her ashes. I feel like I failed Nelly and her memory.”
Erin said she omitted some incidents from her impact statement as there were simply too many to include – such as the time she had to cut all her hair off after McCann poured superglue in her hair.
She added: “He put a noose around my neck till I passed out, and at that time he also tried to kill my cat.
“I am honestly petrified for any female that comes into contact with Paul. I am not the first but I want to be the last.
“I thought I had met a man that loved and would protect me and now I realise I am lucky to be alive.
“Paul moved me to Wigan, where I had no one, then smashed my phone. He also cut my bank card and came to the bank with me to take my cash off me. I had no means to leave.
“The worst part of all this is I could see the enjoyment he got in his face off the mental torture he put me through.”
McCann was sentenced to three years for the offences at Bolton Crown Court last Wednesday (June 7). He will serve 14 months in prison and then carry out the rest of his sentence on licence in the community.