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Praise for ‘extraordinary’ nurse who helped domestic violence survivor report his abuser

Fiona Fraser’s referral helped convict abuser who threw boiling oil over her husband 

Fiona Fraser’s safeguarding referral led to the conviction of Roxanna De Gravell, who threw boiling oil over her husband

An ‘extraordinary’ nurse has won praise for helping secure the conviction of a perpetrator of domestic abuse who threw boiling oil in her husband’s face.

Roxanna De Gravell of Corby, Northamptonshire, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. She was also given a five-year restraining order.

Burn wounds alerted nurse to possibility of domestic abuse

The conviction follows a complex police investigation which began when nurse Fiona Fraser made a safeguarding referral.

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Fiona Fraser’s safeguarding referral led to the conviction of Roxanna De Gravell, who threw boiling oil over her husband

Main entrance of Kettering General Hospital
The man came to Kettering General Hospital with burn wounds to his face, neck and hands Picture: Alamy

An ‘extraordinary’ nurse has won praise for helping secure the conviction of a perpetrator of domestic abuse who threw boiling oil in her husband’s face.

Roxanna De Gravell of Corby, Northamptonshire, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm. She was also given a five-year restraining order.

Burn wounds alerted nurse to possibility of domestic abuse

The conviction follows a complex police investigation which began when nurse Fiona Fraser made a safeguarding referral.

Ms Fraser, who works at Kettering General Hospital, was on duty on New Year’s Eve 2020 when a man came in with serious burns.

Northampton Crown Court heard how she treated the victim with ‘not only considerable skill, but care’ before gently trying to find out how he had sustained his injuries.

The man – who had burns to his face, ear, neck and hand – had sought treatment the day after an argument with his wife where he had locked himself in the bathroom after she hit him.

When he emerged she was waiting with a pan of hot oil which she later threw over him even though he begged her not to, the court heard.

At the hospital he disclosed a history of abuse to Ms Fraser who then made the safeguarding referral.

Praise for nurse’s skill and compassion

Recorder Michael Auty QC said at the end of sentencing: ‘The nurse pressed very gently on how he had come by these awful injuries.

‘Finally, against his inclination, he slowly disclosed to her the awful truth… what she did was extraordinary.'

Men are far less likely to report domestic abuse, said Northamptonshire Police detective inspector Mark Hopkinson from the force’s domestic abuse team who also praised the sensitive way Ms Fraser handled the incident.

‘I want to formally commend Ms Fraser, the nurse whose skill and compassion gave the victim the care and empathy he needed to disclose what had happened to him,’ he said.


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