ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth, 47, says she is ‘looking over her shoulder’ after her abusive ex-husband was freed from jail just 18 months into three-year sentence

  • ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth’s ex-husband has been freed from jail
  • Jonathan Wignall hounded the TV host during a nine-year campaign of abuse
  • He was jailed for three years after admitting stalking and coercive control
  • Miss Dodsworth says she is ‘looking over her shoulder’ after he was released 

ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has revealed she is constantly ‘looking over her shoulder’ and locking her doors and windows after her controlling former husband was freed from prison.

Miss Dodsworth’s jealous ex-partner Jonathan Wignall, 56, hounded the TV host by ringing her dozens of times a day and turning up at her television studio – and even used pressed her fingerprint into her phone while she was sleeping so he could gain access to check her messages.

Nightclub owner Wignall was jailed for three years in April last year after he pleaded guilty to stalking and coercive control. He was also handed a restraining order from contacting his former wife at Cardiff Crown Court after a nine-year campaign of abuse.

But to Miss Dodsworth’s horror, her jealous ex-husband was released from prison early on Tuesday.

The 47-year-old television presenter said: ‘Today, is the day we believe my ex husband comes out of prison. As victims it is standard not to tell us when or where. I understand why, but it doesn’t make it any easier, but it is pretty tough. It is back to a new normal for us now. A new chapter of locking doors and windows and looking over our shoulders.

ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has revealed she is constantly ‘looking over her shoulder’ after her controlling former husband Jonathan Wignall was freed from prison early

Wignall arriving at Cardiff Crown Court, where he admitted stalking and coercive control

Wignall with Miss Dodsworth, who he hounded during a nine-year campaign of abuse

Miss Dodsworth presenting a weather forecast for ITV

‘I am nervous, and I am worried because I don’t know what the future holds for me and my family. So many people in this situation are in exactly this situation.

‘For me, it wasn’t punishment or prison, it was about getting out of an abusive relationship, and getting out alive. It hasn’t been an easy journey, and every day is different.’

Miss Dodsworth shared a photo of herself after her weight plummeted to six-and-a-half stone during the abuse – and says she now has a future to look forward to.

She said: ‘This was my face after 20 years of an abusive marriage had taken its toll. it is not just about hiding cuts and bruises, you can do that with make-up but my weight was six-and-a-half stone and my hair was falling out. I was dead woman walking.

‘What a different three years make. I am happy, I’m a stone and a half heavier. The hair will always be a disaster, but I am alive and I am here to tell the tale.

‘So, if you are watching this thinking it is too hard to get out of an abusive relationship, or it is too difficult, I should stay, look at me. Look at the future I know have, and you do have a future, and you can be happy.’

Wignall (pictured) was given a three year sentence last April

Wignall also used pressed her fingerprint into her phone while she was sleeping so he could gain access to check her messages

Wignall with Miss Dodsworth

Miss Dodsworth decided to leave her husband after 17 years of marriage after Wignall bombarded her with more than 150 phone calls in one day and was arrested for harassing his wife.

But after they split Wignall placed a tracking device under the steering wheel of her car so he could monitor where she was and set alarms on his phone for when she was scheduled to present the weather.

He also left a CD in her car containing a recorded message from a psychic telling Ruth the couple would get back together.

Miss Dodsworth said: ‘I had no idea that the threats and manipulation my ex-husband used for almost a decade were actually a pattern of criminal behaviour.

‘He would call me dozens of times a day, wanting to know where I was and who I was with. He would check my phone and even delete contacts from it. He would turn up at my workplace or insist that I leave the studio to eat lunch with him in his car.’

Miss Dodsworth is now set to take part in a television programme called: Controlled By My Partner? The Hidden Abuse.

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