Woman moved to live with online boyfriend who was ‘most evil monster ever’

A woman moved to Manchester to be with a man she met online and ended up trapped in an abusive controlling relationship with someone she calls "the most evil monster ever".

Jonathan Mealing, 52, was convicted by a jury of 17 offences including sexual assaults, rapes and controlling behaviour and was this month jailed for 30 years.

Jennifer, who has waived her right to anonymity, spoke to Manchester Evening News about her "living hell" spent with the terrifying predator.

Mealing originally sent the then 36-year-old a message on Plenty of Fish but was initially ignored as Jennifer says she was surprised to see he was four hours away in Manchester.

But after deciding to reply a day later the relationship began swiftly.

"He paid for my train ticket to go up and see him. He was the nicest bloke, he was like Prince Charming,” Jennifer said.

“One night he’d paid for dinner and said he had this great job as a builder. Little did I know he was on benefits.”

The couple would regularly see each other on weekends and travel to and from one another on the train.

Mealing told Jennifer that his "wife" had died from a cancerous brain tumour.

“I felt sorry for him, at the time my mum was dying from cancer,” she said.

In January 2017, Mealing told Jennifer that he had found her an "amazing job" and urged her to take it – the only catch was that she would have to move to Manchester.

“I told him I couldn’t live up there because of my daughter. She was going through her GCSEs at the time and she didn’t want to move,” she said.

“She said she didn’t mind me going and said she was happy staying with my parents. I couldn’t start the job for two weeks, and so I moved up to Bury and from there he got me under his spell.”

Jennifer began to see Mealing's controlling ways come to the surface the moment she moved in with him.

He would regularly check her phone, began to restrict her contact to family and friends and even took her bank card to control her finances.

Mealing also controlled her diet and allowed her to only eat a miniscule meal consisting of four cubes of chicken, two spoons of rice and only water.

Jennifer was repeatedly raped by Mealing during her time spent in his home.

"I was his slave," she said.

Mealing forced Jennifer into marrying him in November 2017 by telling her it would help him get in contact with his family.

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Then tragically Jennifer suffered a miscarriage and was allegedly bullied profusely by Mealing about it.

Jennifer became pregnant again shortly after this and required major surgery after a difficult birth.

When Mealing raped her again after this it was the final straw for Jennifer and she finally left and returned to Bedfordshire.

She spent the next three years being subjected to harassment by Mealing on social media and phone calls before he went on to his next victims.

Jennifer only learnt about his previous convictions for domestic violence dating back to 1993 during the sentencing hearing.

The brave woman, who now has her life back on track, had a message for other women in a similar position: “I would say get out, get a good support network behind you, go on those freedom courses. I was just lucky I had a support network behind me."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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