Mick “Deathmask” James, 44, spoke out for the first time since Small’s story of her nightmare years of marriage to the convicted prostitute killer appeared in a national newspaper.
Last night, a tearful Mick revealed how Small, 32, turned his murderous rampage through the red light district of a small market town into a living hell by:
ACCUSING him of having an affair behind her back when, in fact, he had been garrotting prostitutes in nights of drug-fuelled mayhem.
REPEATEDLY berated him for not even noticing her new dress and highlights, just hours after he carved up a young woman with a chainsaw in the garage.
BLASTING him for failing to keep the toilet seat down after he had flushed the severed body parts of a streetwalker down the U-bend.
BATTERING him senseless with the endless wittering on about her friends, their marriage problems and his “bloody mother” while he quietly worked on bricking up four of his seven victims in the couple’s cellar.
It was only after his arrest and subsequent conviction for the murder of six prostitutes and a city nurse in January this year that Mick had a sense that Small was up to no good.
And when he read Small’s account of the couple’s marriage and his murders in a national newspaper under the headline “I Married a Monster” his worst fears were confirmed.
Mick said: “I got this cold, horrible feeling when I read the words. It is hard to describe – a creepy sensation that something was terribly wrong.
“I thought ‘this can’t be happening’ but when I saw her face alongside the headline … well, I just felt numb.
“She was my wife. I knew how bad she could be when I was with her, but I did not think she was capable of anything so evil.
“The headline hurt the most. “I Married a Monster,” it said, but it was me, I was the one who married the monster.”
Mick spent several years as a plumber in the Midlands before he met Small at a pub in Crewe. He had been cruising for hookers in the red light district. She was a barmaid.
They married in 1998, and within months Small’s petty irritations soon turned full blown hissy fits and moods.
“She would moan if I was out after 11pm and kept telling people that I loved my van and antique knife collection more than I loved her,” reflected Mick.
While he meticulously planned his orgy of violence with discretion, Small would air their marriage problems in public without a care in the world.
“She’d think nothing of ticking me off like a naughty schoolboy in front of her mates or mine,” he said. “It was suffocating.”
In fact, bar the prostitutes he murdered, Mick didn’t socialise very much, as neighbours would readily testify shortly after his conviction.
Ian Chalmers, 56, was of the opinion of many when he told reporters: “He was a quiet man who pretty much kept himself to himself.”
Mick agrees. “Yes, I was the quiet one. She on the other hand would never shut up. ‘Put the toilet seat down,’ she’d bleat. ‘Have you emptied the dishwasher?’ or ‘Have you put the bin out?’ was one of her favourites. God it was enough to drive you nuts.”
The final straw for Mick, however, was her warts and all expose in the papers which followed his seven life sentences for multiple murder.
“I can’t ever forgive her for what she’s done. But I won’t let her ruin what’s left of my life. I can sleep easy at night, but can she?
“They dubbed me the Birmingham Brothel Butcher but she was the monster, too bloody right.”