Brave hospital nurse from Market Harborough speaks out after 12 years of abuse from thug partner
Police have praised Abi for her bravery
A young Market Harborough mum repeatedly verbally and brutally physically abused for 12 years by her control freak partner has relived her nightmare ordeal after the thug was jailed.
Hospital nurse Abi Waller, 30, has bravely spoken out to the Harborough Mail about her years of domestic “hell” living with Daniel Sih, 41, after the violent bully was locked up for 27 months.
She vividly told of the horrific night she feared she was going to die at the brute’s hands – the savage attack which was to land him behind bars.
Sih punched her hard in the face and beat her black and blue for a staggering four hours after she blocked her building society account to stop him siphoning off her wages.
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And making a heartrending plea to other women in Harborough who are currently being abused, Abi begged them – leave your tormentors now and get out while you can.
In a powerful, searingly-candid 80-minute interview carried out days after she went to court to see Sih imprisoned, Abi told the Mail: “I felt exhausted but very relieved as I sat in Leicester Crown Court and watched him being jailed.
“But I didn’t feel any satisfaction or pleasure.
“He put me through hell for years.
“But I never wanted it come to this.”
The heroic mum-of-one has told her chilling but ultimately inspiring story in a bid to throw a lifeline to other women – and possibly men – who are being terrorised by their vicious partners day in day out.
“My message to people who are in the position that I was is simple – don’t suffer as I did.
“Get out now - leave.
“Reach out to your family, your friends, your work colleagues for support, advice and help,” said Abi, who has an 11-year-old son to Sih.
“Do not put up with being violently, horribly abused as I did.
“This man cast a dark spell over me for many years, for far too long.
“Don’t let anyone cast a spell over you.”
Turning the clock back to June 26, 2020, she recalled the terror-stricken night she feared would be her last.
“I knew I was being paid that night.
“He had my bank card.
“So I decided to call the Nationwide from an old phone because as usual he had confiscated my own phone from me.
“I asked the assistant to block my account so that he couldn’t take my wages as he always did.
“I’d finally had enough and I didn’t want him taking the money I worked hard to earn as a nurse any more,” said Abi.
“I saw his car coming up the road from work and I begged her to block it – and bless her she did.
“I hung up, it was midnight.
“He came in and immediately tried to transfer my money over to his account as usual.
“He couldn’t do it so he screamed at me to go upstairs to see him.
“I usually told him there must be network errors if he’d had trouble doing it in the past.
“But this time I told him the truth – that I’d blocked his access so that he couldn’t get his hands on my money.
“He went ballistic,” said Abi, who’s now doing a Masters degree in clinical leadership and education research.
“Daniel punched me and knocked me down to the floor.
“He got me in a bear hug and I was semi-conscious.
“He was a bodybuilder – and he was very strong and very intimidating,” said Abi.
“He punched me at least five times in the face with his fist.
“I thought ‘this is the night I am going to die’.
“I was losing consciousness and he could have killed me.
“He was shouting and screaming at me, he was using me as a punchbag.
“But even he looked scared because I was in such a terrible state.
“This went on for hours until 6am in the morning.
“He kept telling me that I was disrespecting him and that everyone thought I was an angel but that I wasn’t.
“I ended up with two black eyes and black and blue all over my face,” recalled Abi.
“I was shattered and very frightened.
“And I was due to work a night shift at the hospital.
“I got out and phoned my dad and I told him I was leaving him, I was done.
“And he was so pleased.
“I was very lucky to get out of there alive.
“I was scared for my life that night, it was terrifying.”
Horrified Abi took her son and moved in with her best friend – who was so shocked by her injuries that she alerted the police straight away.
“The officers were great with me from the start and took this very seriously.
“I gave them 69 hours of statements and evidence so it was exhausting.
“But it was well worth every minute and I want to thank the police in Market Harborough for doing such a good job,” she said.
“I also want to thank my best friend and my parents and grandparents.
“They kept me strong and supported me every step of the way as I went through the whole legal process – which has taken almost 18 months.
“If it wasn’t for them I might have even gone back to him.
“And that doesn’t even bear thinking about.”
The day of their first date is still indelibly etched in Abi’s mind.
“It was August 15, 2008.
“I was just 16 and he was 27.
“I lived in Stanford-le-Hope in Essex and my parents had split up when I was just 10.
“He was from Scotland but lived in Corby and we started speaking initially when I was just 14,” she said.
“We met so to speak playing 8 ball pool online.
“He got back in touch when I was 16 and we communicated through MSN.
“He gave me lots of attention and he became the man I spoke to about my parents and teenage issues.
“He kept telling me to move in with him in Corby and I did on December 28, 2008.
“My mum and dad warned me against it – but he’d already got a firm grip of me,” said Abi, who said Sih was a lorry driver before becoming a salesman.
“Within two weeks he took my bank card, telling me I was still just a child.
“He took all of my money – he was devious, cunning and manipulative and he groomed me from the start.
“He told me my mum was toxic, he totally brainwashed me.
“I stopped talking to her for three long years as a result.
“I was very young and very impressionable and he exploited me.
“He began verbally abusing me very quickly.
“He’d tell me I was thick and knew nothing – and he destroyed what self-confidence and self-esteem I had left.
“He started hitting me about two years into our relationship.
“He hit me hard with an open palm right across my face – and that hurt.
“And he’d talk to me for hours on end telling me how stupid I was,” said Abi, who moved to Market Harborough with Sih in October 2011.
“It sounds terrible but I actually preferred the physical abuse – because the hitting was over quickly.
“But the emotional, verbal and psychological abuse went on for five or six hours at a time day and night.
“It got so bad I had to go into the loft to try to get some sleep.”
Gutsy Abi did a nursing degree at Leicester’s De Montford University from 2016-19 – and was overjoyed to achieve a brilliant first class honours.
“I worked so hard and love being a nurse, I’ve met some fantastic people.
“I had my graduation day in January 2020 and even after everything he’d put me through I badly wanted Daniel to come along,” said Abi.
“But he’d gone off again on holiday to Thailand – where he used to fly off to to sleep with prostitutes before brazenly bragging about it.
“He liked to humiliate me by telling me they all had perfect bodies unlike me.
“He was an incredibly jealous man torn apart by chronic insecurity.
“I did think about trying to leave him and getting out time and again.
“But every now and again he’d be nice to me and do something good.
“And then I’d be defending him again and thinking he was all right,” said Abi.
“It’s scary to think how much he got into my head.
“And it’s very scary to think what must be going on inside his head.
“I used to go and sit in Starbucks in Market Harborough for hours on end while I was studying for my nursing degree – sometimes from 7 in the morning till 6 at night.
“I felt a euphoric sense of freedom and liberation when I finally left him after he beat me up that night.
“I went to Leicester Crown Court to see him get jailed.
“I felt so empowered as I got up to say my piece and was able to speak in front of him without being interrupted by him for the first time in 13 years.
“He didn’t look me once in the eye – he made no eye contact with me what so ever.
“But I don’t feel any resentment, bitterness or hate towards him at all.
“I only hope he accepts the help he so desperately needs in jail – because he does need help,” insisted Abi.
“But I’m not wasting any more time, energy and effort on this man.
“Life is all about me and my son now, it’s about the present and the future.
“The past is behind us, it’s gone.
“I’m writing a book about what I’ve gone through.
“It took years but I’m so proud that I was able to finally leave him and help the police take him to court.
“I kept sound recordings, texts, messages and pictures of all the abuse I suffered,” said the inspiring nurse.
“I’d implore anyone enduring similar abuse to keep and log all the evidence that you can.
“And please learn from all the years of hell, the traumatic nightmare, that I suffered at his hands.
“Don’t let this happen to you.
“Get all the help and support you can – and get out now.”
Sih, who moved to Station Road, Desborough, after Abi left him last year, admitted one count of assault by beating at Leicester Crown Court on Friday November 26.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in coercive/controlling behaviour in an intimate/family relationship.
As well as being jailed for 27 months, Sih is also subject to an indefinite order, forbidding contact with Abi.
After the case Det Con Robin Bonell, of Market Harborough CID, the investigating officer, saluted Abi for her immense courage in helping to convict Sih.
“Sih’s victim has shown immense bravery in speaking out about the physical and psychological harm he caused.
“They are no longer in a relationship with one another,” said Det Con Bonell.
“I hope that she can now move on with her life and take some comfort from the fact he has been brought to justice and is now serving time in prison.”
The detective urged anyone across Harborough who is suffering domestic abuse to alert police immediately.
“Leicestershire Police takes all reports of controlling and coercive behaviour seriously and it’s never too late to speak out,” added Det Con Bonell.
“I would encourage anyone who believes they’re a victim – or thinks they know someone who is a victim – to come forward.”
You can find out more information about domestic abuse by visiting:
https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/Leicestershire Police is also supporting White Ribbon Day, which is committed to ending male violence against women.
You can get further information by visiting: