August 2007

Jasmine had brain damage

SADISTIC monster Stewart Pirie was jailed for  the killing of three-year-old Jasmine Gayler.

The 16-stone beast beat the helpless little girl because she wet the bed. She suffered brain damage equivalent to the injuries from a head-on car crash.

Jasmine, of Scunthorpe, had 58 injuries when she died, many caused before the attack which killed her.

Pirie, 32, was sentenced to eight years for manslaughter but escaped a murder charge because he and Jasmine’s mum Melissa, 21, refused to say who had dealt the fatal blows.

But one woman knew what Pirie was capable of — his ex-wife Jacqueline, who has children of nine and five by him.

” The cruelty started about six months after we met in 1992.

We had a row, over something trivial, and he stabbed me in the arm with his car keys.

I had stitches. He cried, promised he’d never do it again.

The next time I disagreed with him, he punched me so hard I flew over the garden fence. I was pregnant and miscarried. But I moved in with him a month later and we wed.

By then he’d made me feel worthless, convincing me I was to blame — that I ‘deserved it.’ I believed him when he said I needed him because nobody else would want me.

He’d beat me for any reason — because the kitchen wasn’t spotless, because I was five minutes late, he didn’t like his dinner … anything.

I’d be watching the telly and he’d walk over and punch me in the face, screaming that I was useless, fat, scum, a waste of space. Then he’d sit down as if nothing had happened.

When our son was born, it got worse. He was jealous of the attention I paid the baby

I remember the day I finally found courage to stick up to him. He’d picked up our daughter by the wrist, dragged her upstairs and smacked her because she had wet herself. She was still potty training.

I told him if he ever touched the kids again, I’d kill him. I tried it the day I escaped from him.

We’d gone out to a nightclub. He’d behaved, as usual, atrociously. I walked out. He followed and punched me and I flew over a car.

The police came to our house. I told them, ‘If you don’t take him I’ll kill him.’ He sneered, ‘Do it.’

I grabbed a knife and ran at him. The police stopped me. I only just missed. How I wish I hadn’t.

divorced him but he was awarded joint custody of the kids. It meant they stayed with him at weekends. He met Melissa a month later. I told her Stewart had beaten me.

I suspected Jasmine was being maltreated. I’d pick up my kids and she’d be standing still, staring at a wall. She often had bruises, too many bruises, and there was this look in her eyes — fear. I kept asking about the bruises. Stewart would say she’d fallen.

I loved Jasmine and treated her like my own two. That wasn’t the case where Stewart was concerned.

I remember picking our kids up and he handed them both a lolly. He didn’t give anything to Jasmine and I told him he’d left her out. He said, ‘she’s not mine so she’s not getting any.’ There was real venom — hatred — in his voice.

A few months later I had Jasmine to stay. She was scared to sit on the furniture and shied away from being touched. When I took her for a bath she started crying. When she took off her clothes, I was appalled — she had big black bruises down her back.

I had a blazing row with Stewart and said I would report them to social services. He threatened to knock my teeth out but I did report him, anonymously, in September 2002, telling them what I’d seen.

They visited Stewart and Melissa but they put on a show of happy families. Social workers said they found no evidence of abuse.

Five months later, Jasmine was dead. I went to the hospital. Stewart lied, said she’d had an accident but I didn’t believe it. I screamed that the police would be involved.

I volunteered to give evidence at his trial, even though I was frightened. He knew what I could tell, knew he wouldn’t be able to claim he’d never been violent and was a loving father.

So he changed his plea on the first day of the trial, agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter, not murder, and child cruelty. He got just eight years. I’m told he could be out in three. And Melissa, who was sentenced to two years for cruelty, will be out in a few months.

Hanging’s not good enough for him. Jasmine lies dead in her grave — a grave I visit. I’m still frightened — I’ve moved and changed my name — but I’m speaking out now in the hope he won’t get parole and so some kind of justice might be done for Jasmine.

I believe if Stewart’s name had been on a list of violent offenders, that his past history was known, then the authorities would have kept a better watch on Jasmine.

The Government’s plan only to include those on the list with 12-month convictions means Stewart and people like him wouldn’t appear on the register. I believe Jasmine could have been saved if Stewart had been on the list.