33-year-old mother of four reveals how her ‘wild animal’ cousin broke her neck with a police baton at a family gathering to remember loved ones who died during the Covid pandemic
- Stacie Bastable, from Kidderminster, left with a broken neck and PTSD
- Her cousin Reece Cooper attacked her out of the blue at a family gathering
- He was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to a series of crimes.
A woman has spoken of her horror after being beaten with a police baton by her cousin at a family gathering to remember two relatives who died during the pandemic.
Stacie Bastable, 33, was left with a broken neck and still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after Reece Cooper’s ‘appalling’ attack in April last year.
The then 18-year-old turned up at the family event in Wolverhampton with alcohol and armed with an extendable baton, with which he hit his cousin and two other women, including Miss Bastable’s daughter.
He initially denied the crimes, but later pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and two counts of battery beating, and was jailed for three years this week, the Express and Star reports.
Stacie Bastable was left with a broken neck and is still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after Reece Cooper’s ‘appalling’ attack in April last year.
Miss Bastable suffered fractures as a result of the assault and was fitted with a special halo neck brace to help her recover from her injuries.
Miss Bastable, from Kidderminster, suffered fractures as a result of the assault and was fitted with a special halo neck brace for nine weeks to help her recover from her injuries.
But she has also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and has had to quit her job as a civil servant, the first time she has been out of work since she was a teenager.
The mother-of-four told MailOnline about the shock of the attack, which she said was unprovoked and came out of the blue.
She said: ‘He was like a wild animal. I knew immediately that my neck was broken as I had to support my head with my hands.
It has totally changed my personality, I used to go to the gym every day after work, but now I really have a hard time going.
“I can’t face the prospect of going back to anything right now, I just know I’m not mentally prepared.
“I panic over little silly things, like going downstairs, knowing I might trip and break my neck again. I am constantly in alert mode.
“Even when my daughter is hugging me, I am terrified that she will be too strong and hurt me.
Reece Cooper initially denied the crimes, but later pleaded guilty before a jury trial and was jailed for three years this week, the Express and Star reports.
Now I am also struggling with other people, if a member of my family can do something like that, how can I trust someone else?
“It’s put a huge strain on the family, I barely talk to anyone who was at that meeting now.”
In sentencing Cooper, now 20, Judge Michael Chambers QC said it was “an appalling assault causing appalling injuries”.
He added: ‘You went to a family party armed with a serious weapon. During the course of that party you attacked and assaulted a middle aged woman hitting her repeatedly in the neck causing fractures and as a consequence she suffered serious life changing injuries.’
The defendant was sentenced to three years in an institution for juvenile offenders. He must serve half before being released on leave.