The family of domestic abuse victim Angel Lynn have shared updates on her recovery as her ex-boyfriend ’s jail sentence is more than doubled to 16 years and three months.
Content warning: this article contains descriptions and images of domestic abuse and violence.
18 months after she was left unable to walk or talk after her ex-boyfriend attempted to kidnap her, Angel Lynn’s family have shared that she’s been able to hug them for the first time. Following the incident in September 2020, for which her ex-partner Chay Bowskill was jailed for 16 years, Lynn has been receiving around the clock care.
However, as the family have shared, not only has she hugged her mum but also smiled, attempted to blow a kiss, wave and hold a TV remote. She is also understood to have written words in response to questions using her right hand.
“Bit by bit I feel we are starting to get her back,” her mum Nikki told the Daily Mirror, saying she thought her daughter would never be able to hug her again.
In the wake of the attack on Angel, her family have set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay for her rehabilitation, to date the page has raised more than £140,000.
Back in March, the “lenient” jail sentence handed to Chay Bowskill, who left former girlfriend Angel Lynn with catastrophic injuries after kidnapping her, has been increased to 16 years and three months by Court of Appeal judges.
CCTV showed Lynn, 21, being carried away and put into a van by her abusive ex-boyfriend Bowskill. Lynn later fell from the vehicle, which was travelling at 60mph, and was left with severe brain damage.
Bowskill was sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison in January, and where it was reported that he would serve half his sentence taking into account time already served on remand, totalling three years and nine months. Senior judges today concluded his original term for the kidnap was not long enough, with Dame Victoria Sharp saying: “We have concluded that the sentence passed on him for the kidnap was unduly lenient.”
She added that the original term “failed to reflect the seriousness of the kidnap” and the harm caused to Lynn as a result.
Rocco Sansome, who was driving the van, had previously been sentenced to 21 months in a young offenders institution and his sentence remains unchanged.
Reacting to the verdict, Lynn’s mother Nikki said: “We can just concentrate on Angel now. I am alright with 12 years. Ideally a life sentence would have been nice for me.But it was never going to happen in this situation. So I accept what they have given today and I’m happy with that.”
“We were told not to appeal but we felt so strongly we should appeal and we did and we got what we wanted – which means the sentence has been increased,” Lynn’s aunt, Jackie Chamberlain said in an interview.
“We all came down as a family and judges could see us as a family and it was real. We are really grateful to the British public who have supported us as a family all the way along. We can put it behind us now we can move along. We can get Angel home and we can get her extension built.”
Following the sentencing hearing, the family said Lynn’s life has been “taken away from her” and shared with ITV News that while she remains in a care facility, there have been” slight improvements” to her condition.
Her mother, Nikki Lynn, said: “She has learnt how to squeeze our hands when we ask her questions. When we asked her if she wanted to come home, I can’t tell you how hard she squeezed.
“We want her home as soon as possible because it’s where she wants to be. We’re hoping it will stimulate her more and help her recovery but we need to raise the funds to get her here.”
What happened to Angel Lynn?
On 17 September 2020, Lynn, was found lying seriously injured in the carriageway of the A6 near Loughborough, Leicestershire.
CCTV captured the moment Bowskill chased her after she walked off during an argument, before grabbing her from behind and bundling her into a van.
Lynn later fell out of the vehicle as it was travelling at 60mph at 10.45am before she was discovered by members of the public.
Paramedics attended the scene and Lynn was taken to hospital, but despite intensive medical intervention she remains in hospital with life-changing injuries.
She suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries, is still unable to walk or talk, requires round-the-clock care and is unlikely to ever make a full recovery.
What happened at the trial?
Her boyfriend at the time, Bowskill, and his friend Rocco Sansome, 20, were found guilty on Wednesday 27 January, following a trial, having previously denied kidnap.
Jurors were shown the CCTV footage and heard how Bowskill “bombarded her with repulsive, degrading messages, sometimes within a timespan of a few hours,” and “controlled her freedom of movement by a variety of means and she was not allowed any sort of life apart” from him.
Bowskill was also convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour, as well as perverting the course of justice, but was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm. Prosecutors alleged Bowskill had thrown his partner out of the van, but it could not be proved how Lynn fell from the vehicle.
He was sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison, but taking into account time already served on remand, he will become eligible for release in June 2024.
Sansome was sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in the kidnapping at Leicester Crown Court.
Reaction to the verdict
Lynn’s father, Paddy, said in a statement: “Our lives have been changed beyond recognition forever.
“Angel was so full of life and had such a great future ahead of her. That future has sadly been taken away from her.
“The catastrophic injuries Angel suffered will mean life will never be the same for her or our family.
“I know that Angel will never get married now and I will never get to walk my daughter down the aisle,” he continued.
In response to the sentencing, the CEO of Women’s Aid has called for compulsory domestic abuse training for judges. Farah Nazeer said in a statement: “The fact that the perpetrator could be out so soon shows that we urgently need domestic abuse training for all judges.
“This sends out a dangerous message about how seriously we take violence against women in this country – judges need to send a clear message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.”
Image: Leciestershire Police