Sanita Williams, 20, from Manchester had no idea about her boyfriend's dark past...
A blush crept across my cheeks.
‘You’re really pretty,’ the bloke smiled.
He said his name was Jarron Gordon – but everyone called him Jordan.
It was March 2013, and I’d been waiting for a tram when he started chatting me up.
‘Can I have your number?’ he asked, grinning.
I had a boyfriend, and was only 17. But, flattered by this charming, older man, I agreed.
After that, Jordan, 27, texted me constantly.
I wasn’t interested then – but, when I split with my boyfriend shortly after, I agreed to give Jordan a chance.
‘He seems keen,’ I told mates.
For our first date, I went round to his house, where he made me feel special, showered me with compliments. I found myself falling for his charms.
My parents weren’t happy, thought he was too old.
‘And he’s trouble,’ Mum said.
But I wouldn’t listen.
‘I trust him,’ I insisted.
Jordan would take me out for drinks, and I’d stay over at his.
I felt grown-up. Although, sometimes, he’d shout at me, put me down.
‘He’s really horrible to you,’ a mate said.
But Jordan made me feel like no-one else would want me, that I was lucky to have him.
By New Year’s Eve 2015, we’d been together nearly three years. That day, Jordan started drinking beer at lunchtime.
Bit early, I thought.
But I didn’t dare say anything – I’d get a mouthful.
Over the day, he got drunker, until the beer ran out.
‘I’ve had too much to drive, will you get some more beer?’ he asked at 5pm.
‘I don’t have any money,’ I replied. ‘And I’ve got to go soon anyway.’
Every New Year, my family piled round to my nan’s house for a party. Jordan wasn’t invited – my parents still weren’t keen on him.
Jordan got annoyed, called me boring for not having a drink with him.
‘No, I can’t,’ I said again.
Suddenly, he erupted with rage.
I was terrified as he screamed, ranted, called me names.
Then he pulled back his fist, and…THUMP!
Pain exploded across my face as I crumpled to the floor.
The next thing I remember is waking up in Manchester Royal Infirmary.
My whole body throbbed with pain.
‘What happened?’ I croaked.
‘You were attacked,’ one of the nurses told me.
The image of Jordan’s fist flashed into my mind.
He hit me! I realised, horrified.
The doctor told me Jordan had punched me, knocking me out cold, and stamped on my face.
A neighbour had heard him shouting and called the police, but Jordan had fled, while I’d been rushed to hospital.
My family were called.
‘Don’t look in the mirror just yet,’ a nurse advised.
But I couldn’t help it.I recoiled at my reflection, sobbing. Jordan’s blows had broken my two front teeth.
My face was so swollen, I could barely breathe, and my left eye was swollen shut.
Bruising spread along my puffy, bloodied cheek, my lips were fat, sore.
How could he? I thought, utterly heartbroken.
I needed brain scans to check for further damage. Luckily, there was none, and I was discharged that night with strong painkillers, and referred to an emergency dentist.
‘What has he done to you?’ Mum wept when she saw me.
My parents were furious, horrified. They vowed to support me when I pressed charges. But I was still in shock.
Police tracked down Jordan at a relative’s house, and arrested him.
I gave a statement, and he was charged with assault.
Yet, there was more…
For our whole relationship, Jordan had hidden a violent secret. When we’d met, he was on bail – for assaulting his ex.
He’d left the poor woman with facial wounds.
The police told me that, in June 2013, three months after we’d started dating, he’d been up in Manchester Crown Court.
Convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, he’d escaped with a 12-month supervision order.
‘So he was freed, to attack me!’ I raged.
He’d been let off with a slap on the wrist, released to prey on a teenager 10 years his junior.
And, while he was charming me, he was secretly meeting with his probation officer.
Last June, Jarron Gordon, 29, appeared back at Manchester Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm against me.
I was astounded when I was told he’d been given an 18-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Freed again. What an insult!
He’d attacked two women, was clearly dangerous, violent. Yet he still wasn’t behind bars.
That’s not justice, it’s a joke.
I’ve been left permanently disfigured. The dentist gave me two root canals to repair the damage, and temporary fillings. But my teeth will cost £2,000 to fix permanently – money I simply don’t have.
My confidence is at rock bottom, and I’m too self-conscious to smile. I still suffer with nightmares, anxiety.
Now I want to warn other women – don’t trust this man. He’s a violent woman beater, who should be behind bars.