ITV weather presenter Ruth Dodsworth has spoken about the possibility of her ex-husband being released from prison this year.

Jonathan Wignall was jailed for three years in April last year after admitting controlling and coercive behaviour and stalking, and was also made the subject of a restraining order.

He was ordered to spend at least half of his sentence in prison, but – speaking on Loose Women today (April 13) – Ms Dodsworth said he could be released earlier than that.

“He could’ve been out now,” she said. “What they don’t tell you is, yes you have to serve a minimum of half - he was told that by the judge - but then four months prior to that he can apply for early release, for home release. So yes he’d be tagged, but he’d still be out.

“You can’t keep people behind bars forever, you can’t do that. Everyone has rights. But it was a year ago today that the judge said to him ‘You’re evil and you’re a danger to your wife and your children’. How much of that has changed?

“People say to me do I think he got long enough.

“It’s such a difficult question, how long should he have got? How long should anybody get? Because everyone is different.

“But I would like to think and hope that he comes out a better person.”

Ms Dodsworth decided to leave her husband after 17 years of marriage after Wignall bombarded her with more than 150 phone calls in one day and was arrested for harassing his wife.

But after they split Wignall placed a tracking device under the steering wheel of her car so he could monitor where she was and set alarms on his phone for when she was scheduled to present the weather.

Now, she is campaigning to make sure the support is there for victims of coercive control to come forward and trust that they will be safe and will be believed.

“The authorities, the police, they need better training,” she said. “They’ve admitted we need you to help us now so that we can make it better for the next person. And that’s absolutely what this is all about.”

Ms Dodsworth shared her experience with the panel.

“I didn’t know what coercive control actually was, and I’m still learning,” she said.  “But my relationship is absolutely one defined by coercive control.

“Like any new relationship, it all happens so fast, it’s all very lovely. It’s a little bit of jealousy and possessiveness which you think ‘this is quite nice, he must really love me’.

“And then there’s a line you start to cross where suddenly that jealousy and that possessiveness becomes overwhelming and overpowering.

“Suddenly there were friends of his I wasn’t allowed to speak to, contacts in my phone that started disappearing, and suddenly then you realise you haven’t seen your family in a while and you’ve lost contact with your friends.

“It’s all very insidious, it happens under the radar. And I think that’s the thing, it’s a type of domestic abuse but it's not necessarily visible.

“It’s so subtle in fact that I lived with it for 20 years.

“This can happen to absolutely anybody. I knew I had to get out.

For so many people, getting out is the hardest thing to do. I had no money, I hadn’t told anybody so who was I suddenly going to ask? Where was I going to go? Packing your bag and disappearing with two teenage kids is easier said than done.

“My advice to anybody watching this – if you know deep down or if you recognise the signs in yourself or someone that you know, it’s the hardest thing in the world to ask for help. But if I hadn’t done that, I would be dead.”