In the Media

Man who left girlfriend blind jailed indefinitely

PUBLISHED May 11, 2012

A man who left his girlfriend blind after gouging her eyes in what police called a "premeditated, sustained and vicious attack", has been jailed indefinitely.

Shane Jenkin, 33, throttled Tina Nash until she lost consciousness and then gouged her eyes and broke her jaw and nose. Attempts to save her sight failed and she was left completely blind.

Jenkin, 1.93m (6ft 4in) tall and powerfully built, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection. Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC fixed the minimum term at six years and said Jenkin should be detained at a secure psychiatric hospital.

Nash sat in the public gallery of Truro crown court to hear the sentence, but Jenkin, who at a previous hearing admitted grievous bodily harm with intent, refused to attend.

The 31-year-old mother of two was set upon by Jenkin at her home in Hayle, Cornwall, in April last year. After Jenkin's conviction she described how she felt "buried alive, claustrophobic and not in control of my life". She said that although she had been robbed of "one of the most precious things in life" she was glad that Jenkin had "at least taken responsibility" for changing her life for ever.

"I actually look forward to going to sleep because in my dreams I have sight," she said. "It's when I wake up that the truth hits home. Some days I just don't want to get up but I'm determined to provide a future for my children and this is my motivation."

Speaking to the BBC before Jenkin's sentencing on Friday, Nash, whose sons were 13 and three at the time of the attack, said she was feeling more confident. "I'm definitely getting the old me back."

Asked how much anger she felt towards Jenkin, she said: "To be honest with you, I feel nothing towards him, nothing, because that's a feeling, and I don't want to have any feelings for him."

She said she did not think she was being brave in the way she was dealing with her life. "Surviving; I'm surviving. You only get one life, so I'm not going to let him ruin it."

Nash has said that Jenkin, who held her prisoner for 12 hours after the attack, blamed her for it, telling her he was going to be in prison for years because of what he had done. She said she had not walked away from the relationship after previous attacks because she felt she could change him.

Detective Inspector Chris Strickland, of Devon and Cornwall police, described the attack as the most harrowing case he had been involved in.

"Our view is that Jenkin deliberately strangled Tina into a state of unconsciousness in order that he could inflict these terrible injuries," he said. "Tina's life will never be the same and her lifelong disability will be a constant reminder of the attack."

Strickland paid tribute to Nash's courage in trying to rebuild her life, saying: "Tina has displayed incredible strength, however, and has shown great desire to be able to care for her two children despite not being able to see them as they grow up."