Michaela’s horrific ordeal: ‘My partner threatened to slit my throat and bury me alive’
- Credit: CAMBS POLICE
He threatened to slit her throat, split her head open and bury her alive.
Geoffrey Pearce, 38, turned out to be anything but the perfect partner.
Earlier this year he was jailed for 15 years after an eight-day trial found him guilty of two counts of false imprisonment, threats to kill and possession of cannabis.
He was also found guilty of four counts of common assault, two counts of actual bodily harm and of perverting the course of justice.
His partner, Michaela Holden, 34, feared she was doing to die.
Now, Michaela has spoken, for the first time publicly, about her ordeal.
She hopes that speaking out as part of White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Action to End Domestic Violence, it will encourage others experiencing abuse to report crimes and reach out for support.
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“I met Geoffrey on a dating site in February 2019,” she says.
“He was really kind and caring at first, but then he started drinking heavily and that’s when he started beating me.”
The first time it happened, she tried to convince herself it was an accident and it wouldn’t happen again “so I didn’t see any point in going to the police”.
Even when violence and threats to kill both her and her family became a daily occurrence, she didn’t go to the police, fearing no one would believe her.
"I had bruises all over my body, but I didn't think that would be enough evidence,” she says.
“In the public eye, Geoff was polite and came across very sweet and caring.
“But he took control of my phone, so I couldn't take any photos to keep as evidence.
“He also repeatedly told me he would kill me and my family if I told anybody about what happened.”
One night she tried to escape “when he threatened to slit my throat and started strangling me.
“I honestly thought I was going to die”.
The next day, Pearce drove the family to his mother’s house in London with a knife “and threatened to skin me alive.
“I told him my daughter was hungry and asked if we could go out for some food, hoping to raise the alarm in public.
“Instead of driving us to McDonald's, he drove us to a secluded wooded area.
“He picked up a log and said he'd split my head open.”
After he calmed down, he took her home “and made me drink some tea.
“He then told me I would ‘go to sleep and wake up in a hole, buried alive’.
“That night I didn't sleep.”
The following night she finally escaped – whilst he was drunk – and called the police.
"Two police officers turned up at my door within half an hour – it was about 4am,” she says.
Michaela, her daughter and her mum and dad were removed to a police station for safety.
Police later housed them in a secret hotel whilst they hunted for Pearce.
Pearce was arrested and charged.
In the interim police gave Michaela a special mobile phone with a one button call to get through.
They also changed the locks on her home and provided a family support worker.
Michaela says: “My advice to anyone experiencing abuse at home would definitely be to tell somebody.
“Go to the police and report what has happened, even if you think it’s something small and seems a bit silly.
“If it has happened once, there's no reason why they won't hesitate to do it again, and next time they might really hurt you or someone you love.
“I feel like I had a lucky escape but not everyone is so lucky.”
DC Thomas Adams, who investigated, said: "Pearce's behaviour was vile.
"I would like to commend the victim for her bravery in speaking out and I hope this case shows the commitment of the force and courts to tackling all forms of domestic abuse.
“No one should have to live with abuse and we will continue to do all we can to protect those who are suffering and take action against offender.”