Craig Thomas, pictured, was jailed in 2013 for subjecting his then-partner to several months of near constant torture after locking her in his Cardiff flat
An investigation has found widespread failings in how police handled 'one of worst ever cases' of domestic violence seen in Wales.
Craig Thomas was jailed in 2013 for subjecting his then-partner to several months of near constant torture after locking her in his Cardiff flat.
Despite being pregnant with his child, he beat Charlotte Rooks, 35, with hammers, made her sleep naked standing up and forced her to eat pictures of deceased loved ones.
The judge who jailed Thomas, then 33, for 10 years labelled it 'one of the worst cases of domestic abuse' he had ever encountered.
Now a damning report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has revealed how police:Visited the flat where Miss Rooks was trapped several times after tip-offs from members of the public. Failed to grasp the full horror of the victim's enduring ordeal. Failed to arrest her tormentor until she finally managed to escape through her own daring. Failed to properly conduct their own internal investigations into mistakes made.
Following its publication, South Wales Police have issued a 'sincere apology' and admitted that the victim was let down by them.
The report itself details a timeline of errors made over a 12-month period.
On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, a member of the public reported hearing the sound of a woman screaming at Miss Rooks's home at the time in Cardiff. The witness also told police they had recently seen Miss Rooks and that she was visibly bruised.
Two officers attended the home - identified in the report as PC A and PC B.
Despite being pregnant with his child, Charlotte Rooks, pictured, was beaten with hammers, made to sleep naked standing up and forced to eat pictures of deceased loved ones
Following the publication of a damning report, South Wales Police have issued a 'sincere apology' and admitted that Miss Rooks, who was the victim of 'one of the worst cases of domestic abuse' ever, was let down by them
After calling at the property they concluded the couple had been having loud sex. In fact Thomas had been brutally beating Miss Rooks.
The police officers did not contact the person who made the tip-off, and the report concluded that 'the rationale that they had disturbed a couple "having sex" does not explain the presence of the bruising seen days before by the witness. This was seemingly overlooked by both officers'.
The officers did not attempt to speak to Miss Rooks in a separate room to her alleged attacker, despite it being their policy to do so.
They failed to even record the names of Miss Rooks and Thomas so other officers would know if similar incidents happened.
Miss Rooks even tried to tip the officers off by saying it was her baby that had been heard. They did not pick up on the hint that she didn't have a baby.
In the report the investigator said there was 'insufficient evidence' to charge the officers with misconduct but South Wales Police said that the actions 'fell below the standard expected and that their performance was unsatisfactory'.
The report also found that the officer's supervisor, PC J, 'fell below the standard expected' by not questioning why a more thorough investigation was undertaken.
PC J has since left the force. On July 8 a member of the public reported seeing Thomas attacking Miss Rooks through the window of his flat on Trenchard Drive in Llanishen, Cardiff.
Four officers went to the flat and Thomas told the them the call was a fake.
According to one of the officers, known as PC C in the report, Thomas told officers that 'people had a vendetta against him over drugs and suggested that this was why the police had been called'.
The call was in fact genuine. Thomas had been repeatedly beating a pregnant Miss Rooks, hitting her stomach with the metal extension from his vacuum.
Despite the fact officers identified reddening on her cheek that 'looked fresh' and injuries to her eye it was recorded that there was no sign of a disturbance.
The incident was closed and no further action was taken.
In a damning conclusion the report said: 'There is no evidence to support the notion that the call was malicious, bar what the officers were told by Mr Thomas.'
Most incredibly the report found that 'officers did not undertake any enquiries at all' despite the fact '[Miss Rooks] lived in a block of flats at the time, which in all probability would have meant a number of residents lived within earshot of the premises'.
South Wales Police acknowledged that two of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct.
The report found that two police officers concluded the couple had been having loud sex after being called to her flat after a tip off. In fact Thomas had been brutally beating Miss Rooks
When the police left on that day Thomas took out his frustrations on Miss Rooks.
'When they left I knew that I was f***ed,' said Miss Rooks. 'I thought that I was going to die.That night I remember saying to him to just kill me.
'He said: "I will either give you bleach or you can put a bag over your head."
'I remember really weighing up these options because I just wanted to die.
'That night he lifted up the sofa and made me lie down and put my arms above my head so that my hands were trapped under the sofa and would then repeatedly jump on my stomach.
'Obviously your body reaction is to curl up but my hands were trapped under the sofa. If I couldn't control my reflexes he would just stamp on my head - that went on all night.
'I was being tortured. That is exactly what CID said. [The person interviewing me] had to take a break himself during the interview.'
Thomas was eventually arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison at Cardiff Crown Court.
According to the report an officer listed as Ch Insp G conducted a review into the conduct of the officers leading up the evental conviction.
He 'accepted the officers' belief that the explanation for the reddening of her eye as satisfactory'.
The report also says that Ch Insp G said that if the officers had obtained photographs of the scene or injuries it could be viewed as an intrusion into Thomas' privacy and contrary to article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
On May 30, 2017, South Wales Police agreed the actions of Ch Insp G fell below the standard expected and that his performance was unsatisfactory and that 'consideration would be given to Ch Insp G receiving additional / refresher training in relation to domestic abuse'.
In May 2014 Miss Rooks contacted South Wales Police via her solicitor to complain about the way the two incidents were dealt with.
The officer investigating, known only PS H, was found to have a case to answer for.
The officer's failings in this investigation stretch to almost five