A mother-of-two has opened up about the ‘sinister’ campaign her ex-husband waged against her after he tried to end their relationship, saying it included drugging her food with dog medicine and sleeping pills.
Joanne Ferneyhough, 42, said husband Thomas Ferneyhough, 37, began tormenting her after they tried to end their relationship in September 2017 after months of ‘possessive’ behavior following their June wedding the same year.
As they tried to reconcile, she said he started secretly slipping a concoction of what she thought were sleeping pills and dog medicine into her food and teacups.
The 42-year-old attributed an unusual taste to her ‘off’ milk tea and claimed Ferneyhough even shook her once, thinking she was dead.
He also hacked into her Facebook and messaged friends, urinated on her car and contacted her colleagues to tell them she had cheated on him.
Thomas Ferneyhough, of Tixall Road, Great Haywood, Stafford, has now been jailed for 30 months after admitting common assault, threatening to destroy property, engaging in controlling/coercive behavior and harassment .
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Despite suffering from anxiety following the ordeal, Joanne Ferneyhough said she has now managed to move on and wants to share her story to help others.
She said: “You never imagine the person you love would be capable of such horrible things – like drugging you. Once he handed me a cup of tea and said jokingly, ‘I could have put anything in it”.
“I didn’t think about it at the time – I never thought he was slipping things into my drinks.
“I really struggled after this whole ordeal, but I’m glad he’s finally out of my life.”
The couple first met on a dating app in 2014 and married three years later in June 2017.
But Ferneyhough said that within months of getting married, she noticed a “possessive” side to her new husband.
“The day after we got married, he said, ‘You belong to me now,'” she said. “Things just kept going downhill from there. He also had a bad temper, he was slamming doors and putting holes in them.”
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She attempted to end their relationship in September 2017, but Ferneyhough continued to contact her, showing up at work, slashing her tires, urinating on her car and spreading rumors of an affair around her office.
She managed to get a restraining order but Ferneyhough raped her by continuing to message her and in October 2017 he was convicted of harassment and jailed for 10 weeks.
When he was released he begged her to come back and she decided to give their relationship another chance, but she claims he then started drugging her food and tea with sleeping pills and medicine which, according to her, were intended for Bella, their eight-year-old pug.
She said: “In August 2021 I started feeling really sick all of a sudden. I even went to the GP because I was sleeping too much and very lethargic all the time.
“The cup of tea tasted weird, but I still attribute it to the lack of milk.”
She said she also noticed his temper returning, and on one occasion he kicked a closet while she was in a virtual meeting, calling her a “pathetic bitch”, while a another time he threw a roll of bacon at the wall.
She evicted him in December 2021, prompting him to threaten to burn down the house while continuing to harass her via messages, including audio clips threatening to kill herself in January.
After a police search, he was found in a field and Joanne ended things for good.
When Ferneyhough was sentenced, his lawyer said he ‘clinged to women’, adding: ‘Once he’s in a relationship it’s to the point where he becomes obsessed with them. He didn’t want to not lose her, but his actions drove her away and made the situation worse.”
Joanne said she was sharing her experience in the hopes it would help other women, saying: “It’s so hard to let someone go when you want to help them.
“But the best thing you can do is get help and talk before things get out of hand.
“It really shook my confidence in men and having a relationship is the furthest thing from my mind. I was very lucky that something worse didn’t happen.
“It’s been a really tough time, but I’m getting to a place where I can take care of myself and get on with my life.”
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