My boyfriend choked me, suffocated me & hung me from a noose in a three hour attack – I'm glad it was caught on camera
22nd April 2021

BATTERED and terrified, Bethany Marchant banged on the window screaming for help until boyfriend Stefan Carr rammed his fist into her mouth to silence her – but worse was still to come.

In an ordeal that lasted three hours, the mum-of-one was thrown about Carr’s home in Castleford, Yorkshire, suffocated with a pillow, had a knife held to her throat and was hung in a homemade noose until she passed out.

Incredibly every moment of the 2019 attack was caught on a host of cameras set up in Carr’s home – and the footage was later shown in court, where he was jailed for 11 years.

Brave Bethany, now 25, tells her story in the Crime+Investigation programme, Survivors with Denise Welch, which airs on Monday.

She tells the Sun that, while the physical scars from the attack have gone, it’s left her with deep mental scars which may never heal.

“I have PTSD, depression and anxiety. I've had a lock put on my bedroom door and I’m only just now starting to leave it open at night, even though he’s been put away,” she says.

“Mentally, I'm still recovering. I don't think you ever fully recover from something like this.”

Bethany says she wanted to take part in the Survivors programme to help others who may be suffering domestic abuse.

“I think people are really scared to leave because they don't know if they're going to survive and they’re often made to feel like they can’t,” she says.

“But you will survive. My message to them is to be as brave as you can and be as open as you can and people will help and support you through everything.”

Perfect boyfriend with no warning signs

In the six months the couple dated before the attack, former soldier Carr showed no sign of a violent temper or even a jealous streak.

“The relationship was really good,” says dance teacher Bethany. “We went on weekends away, ate out a lot and shared a lot of the same interests.

“He was a nice person, never jealous. A lot of my friends had jealous boyfriends and if they went out they’d say ‘what time are you coming home?’ But Stefan encouraged me to go out with my friends.

“There were no real warning signs or red flags.”

After spending the day at a dance competition, on April 26 2019, Bethany met up with Carr, who had been playing rugby, and went out for dinner.

But over the meal, he confessed to cheating on her and, upset, Bethany decided to drive him home, pack the few clothes she had at his house and leave.

As soon as she went upstairs Carr, then 28, locked the door and refused to let her leave.

“At this point, I wasn't scared of him because he'd never hurt me,” says Bethany. “Then he threw himself down the stairs and accused me of pushing him, even though I hadn't touched him.”

Thinking he’d hurt his arm, Bethany offered to ring his mum but, as she did, Carr changed – grabbing her and throwing her to the ground, causing her to hit her head.

Over the next three hours he strangled her, put a pillow over her face and threatened her with a knife before telling her he had a gun and was going to kill her.

Chillingly, he had already made a noose from rope used in his work as a railway safety officer, which he had hidden in a drawer.

Shocking camera footage shows Carr calmly slinging the noose over a door before lifting Bethany up and hanging her for three minutes.

When she lost consciousness, he released her and she fell to the floor vomiting through lack of oxygen.

“For the whole three hours I just thought I was going to die,” says Bethany. “Especially as it went on longer and longer.

“I was shouting for help and nobody was coming. In the end I actually wanted to die because it was better than being put through all the other stuff that he was putting me through.”

Police later told her that Carr had searched for internet help on making a noose.

“The police thought it was premeditated because of the internet searches, “ she says. “But we don’t know if it was intended for me or for him.”

Plan to drown them both in reservoir

Finally, Bethany begged Carr to take her to hospital and he appeared to agree.

“I said I wouldn't tell anybody what he’d done if he dropped me at the hospital, promising I’d tell them I'd been attacked randomly,” she says.

“I was saying whatever I needed to say, to get out of that situation.

“He put me in the back of the van but when we got to the top of the road he said that he wasn't taking me to hospital and was going to drown us both at a nearby reservoir.”

Luckily, neighbours had heard Bethany’s screams and called for the police – who chased the van and arrested Carr before he could carry out his threat.

Terrified of pillows and dressing gowns

Bethany was left with over 50 bruises and says the rope mark around her neck took weeks to fade.

But, two years on, she says the psychological scars go much deeper.

“Physically, it took me a good six months but I prolonged it because my neck and shoulder were really painful but I couldn’t sleep on a pillow because that was what he suffocated me with,” she says.

“I couldn't wear a dressing gown because I was scared that the cord would get wrapped round my neck.

“Another trigger is smells, because he wears a really popular aftershave and if I smell it on another man or in a shop, I have to get away.

“If I see a Mercedes like the one he had, driving behind me, it just sends my head crazy.”

Bethany says she had to get over her fear of dressing gowns and pillows for the sake of her three-year-old son.

“It’s impacted my life but I can’t allow it to impact his so I have to be the best that I can when I'm around him,” she says.

“On the days that I don't feel like I'm doing well my family have stepped in, so I’m lucky to have them to help.”

Chilling screams caught on camera

Before the attack, Bethany had no idea paranoid Carr had cameras watching every room of his house.

After describing the attack in detail to the police, she was told that every evil deed she described was caught on camera – meaning he had no chance of denying it in court.

“That was the best feeling in the world,” she says.

But she admits that watching the footage for the first time, before Carr’s trial in September 2019, she was “disappointed” that it didn’t look as bad as the attack felt at the time.

“I knew it felt I was going to die but watching it didn't feel like that," she says.

“But family members were horrified by what they saw and now that I’m a bit more detached from it I can see it’s horrendous.”

Jurors agreed and Carr was jailed for 11 years and three months for the attack on Bethany and another on an ex, shortly before.

Bethany is now a keen supporter of Clare’s Law, which was passed in 2014 to give women and men at risk of domestic violence the right to know if their partner has a history of serial violent abuse.

“I was the fourth person he'd been violent to, although not as badly, but it was a progression each time,” she says.

“But obviously I didn't know anything about the other women so more needs to be done and more information needs to be given.

“Clare's Law is fantastic, but I don't think many people know what it is, so I think it needs to be promoted a lot more, especially because domestic abuse cases are rising rapidly, even more so in lockdown.”

Bethany – who has recently started dating again for the first time since the assault – says she copes with her ordeal by talking and being honest.

“I always tell myself that I'm in charge of my life, I'm in charge of my own head,” she says.

“If I feel down some days, I'm in charge of that, and there's only me that can change it so speaking about what's going on is a big help.

“It's really important that people know that it's alright to say 'Actually, today I'm not that good.' We shouldn't be ashamed of that.”

Survivors With Denise Welch airs on Crime+Invesigation on Monday nights at 9pm

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