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Former girlfriend's abuse claim

PUBLISHED: 18:08 20 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

SUFFOLK Police today said it would investigate abuse claims by a former girlfriend of Adrian Bradshaw if she makes a formal complaint against him.

Helen Prior said she would be going to police to press charges against the 27-year-old after accusing him of physically abusing her during their relationship.

SUFFOLK Police today said it would investigate abuse claims by a former girlfriend of Adrian Bradshaw if she makes a formal complaint against him.

Helen Prior said she would be going to police to press charges against the 27-year-old after accusing him of physically abusing her during their relationship.

However a close friend of Mr Bradshaw, who has no previous criminal record, today described the 27-year-old as "happy go lucky" and another said he had never seen him be violent.

During his trial Mr Bradshaw's defence QC David Cocks told the jury his client was a man of good character.

However Miss Prior is standing by what she told police before her former boyfriend was arrested in December.

"He was violent," she claimed. "His temper seemed to come from nowhere.

"You have to know him a while before you see a certain side of him.

"I stayed with him to keep a roof over my head. It was ridiculous."

The 29-year-old said their relationship had finished after only a year together although the couple did live in the same house for a further two years.

They split up in spring 1999.

Miss Prior, who helped to run Felixstowe Flyer freesheet with Mr Bradshaw, said when they first met she was attracted to him.

"He was quite charming in a cheesy sort of way but within a few months I had lost all respect for him."

Miss Prior told officers during the Vicky Hall murder investigation that she had suffered abuse at the hands of Mr Bradshaw.

However she claimed that officers asked her not to make a formal complaint until the verdict was brought in after Mr Bradshaw's murder trial.

"I spoke to police prior to the arrest," said Miss Prior. "I requested that they do something.

"They asked me if I could please wait until the murder investigation was out of the way."

Miss Prior said the pair had been business partners on the Felixstowe Flyer however the free newspaper got into financial difficulties prior to Mr Bradshaw's arrest.

However Peter Dugdale, who was with Mr Bradshaw on the night that Vicky disappeared, and said that he had never seen his friend in a bad mood in the five or six years they had been going round together.

He said: "He was never a loner and had plenty of friends and family.

"He was just a guy that liked having a good time with his friends around him."

The pair had known one another since they were in the fourth year at high school but back then things were very different between them.

Mr Dugdale, also 27, said: "I never liked him at school - I thought he was arrogant because he thought he was a better footballer than me."

But six years ago they met up again while out drinking in Felixstowe and became good friends.

Mr Dugdale said: "He was a friendly, happy go-lucky person who would talk to anyone.

"We used to go out on the town together and he was never a ladies man as such - if he pulled he pulled and if he didn't it didn't matter.

"If he got rejected he would never take it personally, he would just go off and look for someone else."

On the day that Bradshaw was arrested Mr Dugdale recalled the disbelief that his circle of friends felt.

He went quiet as he said: "When he first got arrested I was in a state of shock thinking that it couldn't have been him in a million years.

"It is horrible to see your best mate in court."

Another close friend who had known him for around nine years, and does not want to be named, described Bradshaw as a popular man with a large group of friends.

He said: "He is an outgoing person with lots of friends and hung round with a lot of people he had known since he was at school.

"He was the sort of person you could really trust and I would leave him in my house."

His friend still cannot believe that this has happened to Adrian who he said had far too much to lose to get involved in anything as sinister as that he was accused of.

He said: "He had a good education behind him, he was a business man and was very friendly.

"He knew what he wanted to get out of life and was very focused."

Adrian liked to go out and socialise and go drinking and on the night Vicky disappeared he had been on a pub crawl with friends.

His friend said: "He would never drink and drive because he would not want to lose his license and I never saw him get violent when he had been drinking.

"He would usually just sit in the corner and go to sleep - there are times when I have had to wake him up and drag him home."

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