KGH nurse 'may have saved domestic abuse victim's life'

She was formally commended at Northampton Crown Court

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 9:00 am
Kettering General Hospital.
Kettering General Hospital.

An "extraordinary" nurse at Kettering General Hospital was praised for the care she gave to an abuse victim who had been subjected to a hot oil attack by his wife.

Fiona Fraser was working at the Rothwell Road hospital on New Year's Eve last year when a man attended with burns injuries, which he had sustained the previous day.

At Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) the man's attacker, 42-year-old Roxanna De Gravell, was jailed for four years for assault causing actual bodily harm.

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Roxanna De Gravell

But her actions were only investigated by police as a result of a safeguarding referral made by Ms Fraser.

The court heard she treated the man with "not only considerable skill but care", before pressing "very gently" over how he had suffered his horrific injuries.

Against his initial inclination De Gravell's husband disclosed a history of domestic abuse to Ms Fraser, whose referral led to the attacker being arrested later that day.

Recorder Michael Auty QC said: "I have no doubt that she will regard what she did as nothing more than her job.

"Perhaps it speaks ill of all of us that we take what people like her do so readily for granted.

"It's no exaggeration to say that she may well have saved the victim's life. We shall never know.

"What she did was extraordinary."

At the end of yesterday's sentencing hearing Recorder Auty QC formally commended Ms Fraser for her actions.

He said: "Had she not been the woman that she is this may never have come to light."

Northampton Crown Court had heard how the victim, who had been in a relationship with De Gravell for 12 years, locked himself in a bathroom after she jabbed him with a key and hit him.

When he emerged she was holding a pan of boiling oil which she threatened to throw over him.

After the victim told De Gravell to calm down, she threw the hot oil over him before laughing.

Prosecutor Henry Gordon told the court that De Gravell, of Penrhyn Close in Corby, had told him he had asked for it.

Having initially used a hosepipe to put water on his skin the victim went to KGH the following day, where he told Ms Fraser what had happened.

Police later visited his home where he also disclosed that his wife had hit him over the head with a prosecco bottle in July, knocking him to the ground.

De Gravell, who sobbed through the hearing yesterday, will serve half of her four-year prison sentence in custody before being released.