ITV’s Ruth Dodsworth is ‘looking over her shoulder’ as her abusive ex-husband is freed from jail
ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has revealed that she is constantly ‘looking over her shoulder’ and locking her doors and windows after her domineering ex-husband was released from prison.
Jonathan Wignall, 56-year-old jealous ex-partner of Miss Dodsworth, haunted the TV host by calling her dozens of times a day and showing up at her television studio — even pressing her fingerprint into her phone while she was sleeping so he could could access to check her messages.
Nightclub owner Wignall was sentenced to three years in prison in April last year after pleading guilty to stalking and coercion. He was also given a restraining order from Cardiff Crown Court barring him from contacting his ex-wife after a nine-year campaign of abuse.
But much to Miss Dodsworth’s horror, her jealous ex-husband was released from prison early on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old TV host said: ‘Today is the day we believe my ex-husband is out of prison. As victims, it’s standard not to tell us when or where. I understand why, but it doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s quite heavy. It is now a new normal for us. 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 domineering former husband Jonathan Wignall was released early from prison
Wignall arrives at Cardiff Crown Court, where he admits being stalked and controlled under duress
Wignall with Miss Dodsworth, whom he hunted during a nine-year campaign of abuse. Discussing the ordeal, she said, “For me it wasn’t punishment or prison, it was about getting out of an abusive relationship and getting out of it alive.”
Miss Dodsworth presents a weather forecast for ITV. After her ex-husband’s release, she said: “It’s back to a new normal for us now. A new chapter of locking doors and windows and looking over our shoulders.’
“I’m nervous and 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 dropped 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 took its toll. it’s not just about hiding cuts and bruises, you can do that with makeup, but my weight was six and a half stone and my hair was falling out. I was a dead woman walking.
‘What make another three years. I’m happy, I’m a stone and a half heavier. The hair will always be a disaster, but I’m alive and I’m here to tell the story.
“So if you see this thinking it’s too hard to get out of an abusive relationship, or it’s too hard, I have to stay, look at me. Look at the future I know, and you have a future, and you can be happy.’
Wignall (pictured) was sentenced to three years in prison last April
Wignall also pressed her fingerprint into her phone while she was sleeping so he could access her 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 over 150 phone calls in one day and was arrested for harassing his wife.
But after they broke up, Wignall placed a tracking device under the wheel of her car so he could see where she was and set alarms on his phone for when she presented it again.
He also left a CD in her car with a recorded message from a psychic telling Ruth that the couple would get back together.
Miss Dodsworth said: ‘I had no idea that the threats and manipulations my ex-husband used for nearly a decade were actually a pattern of criminal behavior.
“He called me dozens of times a day to know where I was and who I was with. He would check my phone and even delete contacts from it. He would come to my workplace or insist that I leave the studio to have lunch with him in his car.’
Miss Dodsworth will now participate in a television program called: Controlled By My Partner? The hidden abuse.