A BRAVE mum-of-two has released horrific pictures of the domestic abuse she suffered by her partner – as she pens an open letter to try and help other victims.
Maria Hopkins, 23, opened up after being hospitalised and left eating through a syringe when Ricky Wilding, 22, broke her jaw and fractured her spine.
Maria Hopkins, 23, was left eating through a syringe after her ex-partner attacked her[/caption]
The mum-of-two, who had her jaw broken and fractured her spine, has written an open letter to abuse victims[/caption]
Her ex-partner, and dad of her two children, was jailed for six years and eight months for the sickening attack which happened in July.
Maria said Wilding’s attack was so extreme her own children didn’t recognise her, and were scared of her.
But now, in a more detailed letter released through Wiltshire Police, Maria, from Swindon, has shared further details of the shocking attack.
She said she only became angry at Wilding after she saw him “smirking” in court, and looking “proud of the damage he had caused”.
Maria wrote: “When he was given his prison sentence, and he walked out of the court, that was it. It was all over and I could focus on moving on.
“I know that so many people think it is impossible to escape an abusive relationship, especially those who have children, but it is so important to prioritise their wellbeing as well as your own.
“It can happen to any relationship behind closed doors. If I can help one other person in a similar position to me then it will be worth it.”
Maria, who is mum to a five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son, told how she met Ricky when she was 15 at school.
They started a relationship and she gave birth to their daughter in 2014.
I could only eat with a syringe for weeks after and my jaw will never be straight again
She said she was “really shocked” when he hit her for the first time after his behaviour went “downhill” following the birth of their son in 2016.
Maria said: “On July 15 this year, long after we had split up, Ricky turned up unannounced at my house.
“He thought I had a new boyfriend and asked to see my phone, but I refused.
“He became aggressive so I locked him out the house – from my past experience with him, I knew he had a tendency to switch and he was clearly getting wound up.
“But he kicked the door in and attacked me, smashing my head against the TV unit so hard it’s left a dent in the wood.
‘HE STAMPED ON MY HEAD’
“He then stamped on my head several times before taking my sister’s phone from her so she couldn’t call the police.
“I was unconscious so I can’t remember exactly what happened but my sister managed to get outside and call for help.”
Maria was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where she had operations for a broken jaw and fractured spine – including a permanent metal plate fitted to her jaw.
She wrote: “I could only eat with a syringe for weeks after and my jaw will never be straight again.
“I force it in to place if I think about it, but when I smile in pictures my face isn’t straight anymore and I can only eat on one side.
“I never really felt angry towards Ricky about what happened because I was just so focused on recovering from the surgery that I hadn’t given him a second thought.
She said her thug ex-partner Ricky Wilding ‘smirked’ at her in court as he was sentenced[/caption]
“The next time I saw him was when I went to court to see him sentenced.
“That is the first time I felt angry towards him because he was smirking and he almost looked proud of what he had done.
“When the judge was reading out details of the surgery I had required, Ricky looked proud that someone had needed surgery as a result of his actions, and proud of the damage he had caused.
“That was when the anger set in and the realisation that he, of all people, had done that to me.”
She said she is now in a new relationship, but the horrific violence her ex-partner inflicted has “made me more wary”.
SUPPORT FOR ABUSE VICTIMS
Maria added she has spoken to her son and daughter about what their dad did as she offered support to other victims.
She added: “The police have been so helpful to me, the Detective Constable assigned to my case has kept me well informed throughout the whole court process, which has been really helpful.
“I’d urge anyone to report information to the police if they are in an abusive relationship.
“I also want to point out that anyone could find themselves in an abusive relationship. Domestic abuse does not have a particular ‘look’.
“It can happen to any relationship behind closed doors, so it’s especially important for everyone to be vigilant and look out for friends and family.
“It is a huge thing for me to tell my story – if I can help one other person in a similar position to me then it will be worth it.”
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Wilding was sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment for the GBH offence at Swindon Crown Court.
He also got three months for common assault, 12 months for dangerous driving, and four months each for four breaches of a restraining order and two months for battery on his former girlfriend.
All sentences will be served concurrently. He had pleaded guilty to all counts.
Maria was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after the horrific attack[/caption]
But she said if her letter helps one other person in a similar position ‘then it will be worth it’[/caption]
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