A north-east woman whose abusive partner attacked her while she was pregnant has bravely spoken out about the ordeal and the impact it has had on her life.
Keir Williams, 28, punched mum-to-be Sarah Gibson in the face so hard she was left permanently scarred.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the brutal assault, Sarah, 35, says she has “lost everything” in the years since and has tried to commit suicide on more than one occasion.
Earlier this week at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, Williams, 28, of Oldcroft Place, Aberdeen, was given two years’ supervision, 150 hours of unpaid work and must undertake the Caledonian domestic abuse programme after admitting punching Sarah on her head to her severe injury and permanent disfigurement when she was 15 weeks into her pregnancy.
He was also given a 30-week curfew and 10-year non-harassment order.
Mum-of-three Sarah, who has a six-year-old son with Williams, has been unable to work for more than two years since leaving her ex-partner in 2016.
She moved from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh for “a fresh start” but says the physical and psychological scars have never gone away.
Sarah said: “My left nostril is completely finished. I have been to Albyn Hospital and they have said they can maybe do something to make my nose look less swollen but it will always be visible.
“Every time I look in the mirror it’s there.
“I have been away from Keir for two-and-a-half years now and the psychological damage is still as bad.
“I’ve been in Cornhill Hospital three times because I’ve tried to take my own life.
“I had to move to Fraserburgh to get away from him and try to start afresh.
“For 13 years I worked in mental health. I had to give all that up because of him and I haven’t been able to work since.
“I have lost everything, including friends and family. I used to be a sociable person but now I’m a loner.”
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Sarah said she is speaking out because she wants more people to be aware of the lasting impact of domestic violence.
She said: “I just want closure and I want people to know what happened.
“The bruises disappear, but the mental impact will always stay with me.
“I struggle even now and I just want people to know about the effect this has had.”
During the court hearing for Williams, defence agent Andrew Ormiston said his client was “deeply regretful of his conduct”, adding that he was “having a great deal of difficulty with alcohol and drug use” at the time of the incident in 2012.
Mr Ormiston added Williams was now in a “stable relationship with a new partner”.