EXCLUSIVE: Daughter of woman who has died two years after being doused in petrol and set on fire by her monster boyfriend in one of Britain’s worst-ever domestic violence cases says he should now be tried for murder
- Ellen Marshall suffered burns over 80 to 90 per cent of the top half of her body
- She was initially only given a 50 per cent chance of surviving
- READ MORE: Woman, 43, dies two years after being doused in petrol
A mother-of-four who died in agony two years after her boyfriend doused her in petrol and set her alight during a petty squabble has been remembered as ‘a big character’ and ‘a lovely woman’ by her daughter who says she wants the ‘monster’ who did it now charged with her murder.
Ellen Marshall, 43, suffered burns over 80 to 90 per cent of the top half of her body in the sickening attack on April 22, 2021, in her flat in Skegness, Lincolnshire.
She was initially only given a 50 per cent chance of surviving as she struggled to breathe unaided, but she clung to life until she died on March 11 in Nottingham City Hospital.
Her daughter Paige Clarke, 25, paid tribute to her in a Facebook post saying: ‘No more pain and suffering now mum.’
Paige’s message decorated with heart emojis added: ‘Sleep well and I will see you soon. I love you.’
Ellen Marshall, 43, (pictured) suffered burns over 80 to 90 per cent of the top half of her body in the sickening attack on April 22, 2021
Hey boyfriend dosed her in petrol and set her on fire in her flat in Skegness, Lincolnshire
Leigh Pateman, 43, (pictured) doused Ellen in petrol as she sat in a chair before he ignited her with his lighter and left her for dead
In an interview with MailOnline, she added: ‘I am still processing the thought of not having my mum around any more and I am supporting my siblings in dealing with it.
‘We knew it was going to shorten her life expectancy but we did not think it would be this quick.
‘In some ways it has come out of the blue because she would get poorly and they’d think she wouldn’t make it and then she would bounce back.
‘She was essentially in hospital ever since it happened. She was in Birmingham, then Nottingham and then in a care home for a few months but then came back to Nottingham City Hospital just before Christmas.’
Paige, who is organising her mother’s funeral, described how Ms Marshall would slip in and out of consciousness and struggled to breathe for herself.
She said: ‘She could talk but when she was really poorly she was unresponsive most of the time.’
Ms Marshall’s partner Leigh Pateman, 43, admitted grievous bodily harm with intent at Lincoln Crown Court and was jailed for 17 years and ten months last March.
He was given an extended sentence, meaning he will send an extra four years on licence after his release.
Her daughter Paige Clarke, 25, (pictured) paid tribute to her in a Facebook post saying: ‘No more pain and suffering now mum.’
Paige, who is organising her mother’s funeral, described how Ms Marshall would slip in and out of consciousness and struggled to breathe for herself
Paige is now calling for him to be charged with murder if tests prove her mother’s death was as a result of her burn injuries.
She said: ‘I would have thought it was obvious that the monster who did this to my mum should now stand trial for murder and serve a life sentence. We have to wait for the autopsy but this is what we would like to happen.’
Paige of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, added: ‘I am going to miss her. She was very outspoken and would light up a room when she walked in. She would always let you know how she felt about you.’
Ms Marshall’s sister Linda added: ‘Ellen was very bubbly. You’d always know she was around and where you stood with her. She was a big character and leaves a big hole in our lives.’
Her former partner and father of her children, Alan Clark said: ‘I know the police are looking into a bringing a bigger charge. He deserves it.
‘It has been really hard for the children with her being in hospital over the past two years.’
Ms Marshall’s son Tim Clarke, 21, added in a Facebook post: ‘RIP mum, I’m going to miss you. Love you loads…’
Police who described the attack on Ms Marshall as ‘one of the worst cases of domestic violence’ they had seen are waiting for post mortem results to establish how she died.
Ms Marshall who had alcohol issues was originally from Nottingham, but moved to Skegness around seven years ago, leaving her teenage children with their father in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
She lived in a succession of flats, guest houses and houses of multiple occupation as well as Salvation Army accommodation in the seaside town.
One of her former landlords who asked not to be named said: ‘She was a lovely lady – but she was very troubled and had issues.
‘She was a recovering alcoholic, but relapsed and started drinking again. I think that I gave her somewhere to live three times.
‘She was always nice to me and she paid her rent. But there were definitely issues with her drinking.
‘I know she had to get away from Nottingham – but I don’t really know why.
‘She had a couple of relationships when I knew her. When she left my place, she moved in with a boyfriend and I think she went downhill.
‘I think it was towards the end when she started to go down the wrong roads again.
‘She split up with the boyfriend I knew she had, and she must have then got together with the guy who later burned her. I don’t know anything about him.
‘I heard about the attack her on the news. It sounded awful, and I am sad that she has now died.’
Ms Marshall was set ablaze at around 10.30pm as she sat in an armchair in her ground floor flat in a house shared with other tenants in Skegness.
The property has since been converted into a family home.
A local resident said: ‘It was just awful. We didn’t realise anything was wrong until we saw firefighters, police and an ambulance in the road.’
Pateman poured petrol over her from a jerry can following an argument before using a lighter to ignite it.
He fled on his bike and left her for dead after pouring two bowls of water over her.
Firefighters heard gurgling noises when they arrived at the flat and found Ms Marshall lying on the living room floor with her hair burned off and her facial features difficult to recognise.
Ms Marshall’s partner, admitted grievous bodily harm with intent at Lincoln Crown Court and was jailed for 17 years and ten months last March
She was still conscious and managed to give her name, but claimed the injuries she had suffered were self-inflicted.
Ms Marshall was taken to Boston Pilgrim Hospital and underwent initial surgery for 12 hours for burns to her face, neck, abdomen, chest and limbs.
She also lost some of her fingers and had severe damage to her eyes.
Ms Marshall was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for specialist treatment for ‘catastrophic’ and ‘life changing’ burns.
Pateman was arrested at his mother’s house where he was found covered in soot, and needed treatment for burns to himself.
His sentencing hearing was told that he had made a previous threat to set her alight and had kept the petrol at his flat.
He told police he had been arguing with his then girlfriend for months and that they were both dependent on alcohol.
Pateman claimed he had bought the petrol for his strimmer, and only poured it over her lap to scare her.
He made out that he had been messing around with his lighter and did not mean to burn her.
The court heard last year how Ms Marshall was still in hospital and could only walk a few steps at a time with a frame.
Specialists said at the time that they hoped would survive, but would continue to need 24-hour care if she was discharged from hospital.
Judge Simon Hirst told Pateman: ‘Her injuries are irreversible and she will never be able to return to her former life.
‘It is difficult to think of a crueller crime than setting someone alight. You used a highly dangerous weapon with the use of fire and an accelerant.’
Det Insp Andy McWatt said after the hearing: ‘This is such a tragic incident that has left Ellen with life-changing injuries. She is likely not to ever make a full recovery. I hope this sentence will bring some closure to the family.’
A statement by Lincolnshire police this week said: ‘Ellen Marshall’s passing has been brought to our attention, which is a dreadful loss.
‘The Coroner is currently in charge of the inquiry, and we are working together with both of them and the Crown Prosecution Service in order to carry out an autopsy.’
Paul Smith, the area coroner for Lincolnshire, opened an inquest into her death this week. He said the precise cause of Ms Marshall’s death had not yet been revealed and adjourned the inquest until September 10
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