Mother of domestic violence victim opens up about her daughter's story

‘I was under his charm’: Devastated mother reveals she wanted her daughter to reconcile with estranged husband who stabbed her to death and recorded her begging for her life

  • Stella William is mother of Faye Caliman, murdered in 2017 near Nottingham
  • Faye, mother-of-three, stabbed 13 times by estranged husband Marian Caliman 
  • Stella said she didn’t know the extent of the domestic abuse Fay was suffering
  • She encouraged Faye and Marian to stay friends after they separated 
  • Six weeks later, Caliman recorded as he threatened and stabbed Faye to death

The mother of a domestic abuse victim who died in 2017 admitted she encouraged her daughter to remain friends with her estranged husband because she didn’t know the extent of the violence she suffered. 

Faye Caliman, 30, was stabbed 12 times by her estranged husband Marian Caliman at their Bestwood Village home in Nottinghamshire, six weeks after they separated and following years of physical and emotional abuse. 

Caliman was sentenced to 19 years without parole at Nottingham Crown Court in September 2018 after pleading guilty to murder.  

Speaking in last night’s episode of 5Star’s True Crime Series My Lover My Killer, her mother, Stella Williams revealed Faye, a mother-of-three, never told her the extent of the abuse she suffered from Caliman. 

She added Caliman had ‘charmed’ her and that she encouraged Faye to remain friends with him, in hopes that they would rekindle their romance during an ucoming family holiday. 

Stella Williams, right, from Bestwood Village in Nottinghamshire, said she wanted her daughter Faye Calima, centre, to reconcile with her estranged husband Marian Caliman, left, because she didn’t know he had been abusive. Calima killed Faye on April 28 2017. Pictured at Faye and Caliman’s wedding 

‘She didn’t tell me everything that was going on, you see, I was still under his charm,’ Stella said.

The family had planned a trip to Fuerteventura to celebrate Stella’s 50th birthday, and Caliman was still invited, despite the couple’s split. 

Recalling her hopes for the trip, Stella explained: ‘If we get away, it’s beautiful in Fuerteventura, it’s sunny, they can go for a walk on the beach, I can have the girls, they can have a romantic meal, whatever they like, and try to reconcile everything.’ 

The couple had been separated for six weeks after Faye finally gathered the courage to leave Marian, a Romanian builder who had been abusive during their marriage. 

Faye Caliman, pictured, was murdered by her estrange husband Maian Caliman on April 28 2017 after three years of an increasingly violent abusive relationship

The couple, who had met in 2014 on a night out and married the following year, shared a daughter who was two-years-old at the time of Faye’s death. 

Following an argument regarding childcare, an enraged Caliman drove up to Faye’s house, and recorded as he made her beg for her life before stabbing her several times with a kitchen knife. 

He then called an ambulance saying ‘I have killed my wife.’ Paramedics tried to save Faye’s life, but one of the stab wound she sustained to the heart was fatal, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Stella remembered her shock at hearing her daughter had passed on when two police officers came to her door at midnight. 

‘He had to tell me three times because I was like, “Let me get dressed, is she okay? Is she in the hospital? Is she asking for me? Can you take me to her?”,’ the distraught mother recalled. 

‘I just didn’t take it in, it wasn’t registering that it was fatal,’ she added.  

Caliman, pictured, was arrested following Faye’s murder and sentenced to 19 years in jail without parole

‘He had to stop me from going up the stairs to get there and then he said: “I think you better sit down”.’

Caliman tried to go on the run from the police and called a friend admitting to murdering Faye and threatening to kill himself, but was eventually caught. 

Faye’s family and friend had to watch the video the abuser recorded of his wife in court, and the moment still haunts Stella to this day. 

‘I knew what the video would look like but seeing it and hearing it, you just don’t understand the feelings that run through you,’ she said. 

‘I saw exactly where the knife was positioned, the phone. The only thing I didn’t know was what she was wearing, and what she would be saying.’

Breaking down in tears, she said: ‘To see the footage, that was crippling, and I never never seen her like that. She knew she was going to die, she was saying all sorts just to get out of it, begging him. 

‘And that, on my worst days, on my lowest days, that haunts me.’

Caliman first pleaded not guilty, claiming he was not resposible for his actions, but the video he recorded dispelled that belief. 

Author and criminal barrister Tony Kent said in the documentary: ‘You’d have to wonder why anyone would choose to do it, the one effect that it did have is to undermine any claim from Caliman that this murder was a loss of control.

‘Because if it was loss of control, in what world is he reaching to his pocket, taking out his phone, typing in his PIN or whatever pattern it takes to unlock his phone, going to camera, switching to video rather than photo, and then starting recording,’ he added. 

Stella said she expected Caliman to come clean and plead guilty. 

‘I expected him to say sorry, I expected him to put his hands up and say “I didn’t mean it”,’ she revealed.

Stella, pictured with Faye on her wedding day, said she wished Caliman could have been hung, and that he never showed remorse for killing her daughter 

‘But he didn’t even look at me, he wouldn’t look at anybody, he stood with his head down and nothing, no remorse, no tears, no nothing

‘He stood there as if nothing had happened, which made me angry.’

After Caliman was convinced to plead guilty, he was sentenced to 19 years without parole, which was not punishment enough for Stella. 

‘I wanted him… You know, but that’s not in this country now, is it? We don’t do hanging,’ she said. 

Faye, who had just ended a previous relationship and had two daughters when she met Caliman on a night out in 2014. 

Hailing from Romania, Caliman didn’t speak great English, which led to communication issues between the couple. 

Faye, a mother-of-three, pictured, had started to turn her life around after separating from Caliman in March 2017

‘When you look at the beginning of their relationship, there is a communication issue, there was a language barrier,’ said author and criminal barrister Tony Kent 

‘From the very beginning, Faye was projecting something onto this that wasn’t there. She was desperate for a relationship that worked, she just came out from one that hadn’t. She was desperate for a successful relationship.’ 

The pair moved quickly after a whirlwind romance, and Stella admitted Caliman put a lot of effort into winning over, including getting her flowers and chocolates when they met. 

‘He was very polite, very charming, really, nothing was too much trouble for me,’ she said. 

The couple married in 2015, and soon Faye gave birth to their daughter. But while everything seemed fine on the surface, the relationships was not as idyllic as it seemed.  

‘It was very up and down at the beginning of the relationship, they had a few issues but then she put a good front on to make every seem perfect,’ said her friend Kirsty Newbury.  

The issues escalated after the couple were married, and friends started to notice bruises on Faye’s body, which she brushed off, saying she had walked into a cupboard. 

Caliman also grew more controlling and would constantly be texting Faye or limiting the number of cigarettes she could smoke.  

Kirsty said in the documentary she was once driving out with Faye when Caliman caught up with them, tried to keep Faye from going out and spat on her face. 

But Tony Kent argued it was just ‘the tip of the iceberg.’

‘Not everything could be kept a secret,’ he said. ‘Ultimately what you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg, you’re seeing the things she can’t hide, so what is she hiding?

‘She is willing to hide all this different abuse she’s suffering, willing to hide the abuse, the emotional, psychological abuse that she’s not disclosing.’ 

Dr Roberta Babb, a psychologist, explained in the documentary: ‘When somebody is in an abusive relationship, it’s really, really difficult to leave. Ultimately, the person believe their partners can change. 

The couple, pictured, met in 2014 and married in 2015 after a whirlwind romance. They shared on daughter

Violence escalated further on Christmas eve 2016, when a drunk Caliman took Faye by the hair and threw her down the stairs, an assault she couldn’t keep away from her friends and family. 

After a brief separation, Faye was drawn back to Caliman after he sent her a text reading ‘I miss my baby.’ 

‘The point is, she’s being emotionally manipulated, maybe it’s the version of “I’m sorry, I love you,” or the version of “We need to keep out family together”,’ Tony said. 

‘That’s what we see in those cases and it’s tragic that, like so many other women, Faye took that as a reason to go back.’

In 2017, Faye eventually gathered the courage to leave Caliman, and started to turn her life around. 

She changed jobs and was earning more money, and had reconnected with friends and family. 

Caliman was struggling to see the mother of his child move forward and upward without him, and started to bombard her with messages. 

He would also make their childcare arrangements difficult for her, by clashing with her work hours. 

The fact she grew in confidence and stood her ground led to her untimely death, according to Tony Kent.  

Faye, pictured, was a ‘happy go lucky’ girl, according to her friends, who admitted they knew the couple had issues, but that Faye would often put on a brave face

‘There is always a trigger, there always has to be a trigger, and in a situation in which Faye has found this new job. She’s standing her ground, she is fighting over childcare, she’s got the support of her family, she’s no longer as isolated as she was,’ he said. 

A few days before the family was meant to leave for Fuertventura for Stella’s birthday, there was a movie night planned at Stella’s, and Faye was meant to attend with her youngest daughter. 

Caliman tried to keep her from going, saying that if she went to the movie night, he wouldn’t be looking after their daughter when she next went to work. 

Faye called her mother, and Stella offered to look after the child herself. This enraged Caliman, who could tell he was losing control over Faye. 

That same night, he drove to her house to confront her, and eventually took her life. 

‘A particular horrible aspect of this case is the fact that when he started the final assault on Faye, Caliman took out his mobile phone and filmed it,’ Tony said. 

‘He’s standing over with her cowering on the floor, it’s incredibly hard to watch,’ he added. 

‘He was intimating Faye before he actually attacked her, and it’s quite a calculated, thoughtful move which speaks to the sadism and control he was trying to exert over

Faye in this moment of extreme vulnerability for her,’ said Dr Roberta Babb. 

Tony Kent added that one of the most horrific thing to come out of the murder investigation was that Faye’s two year-old-daughter saw some of her mother’s assault, and reported ‘Daddy hit Mummy on the head.’

‘And perhaps that was intentional, “I’m going to put you in your place, I’m going to show you where the power lies, and I’m going to do it over the children too,” he suggested. 

Faye was buried after the police investigation, and Stella said she visits her resting place every year, affectionately calling Faye her ‘fairy,’ after the meaning of her name. 

My Lover My Killer airs on Tuesdays on 5Star at 10pm. 

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