Nikki Carroll spent five years in a “living hell” of a relationship.
The Fintry mum was told she was ugly, unlovable and was beaten and bloodied to the point of unconsciousness. That was what she considered normal.
Although their relationship ended in 2009, Nikki was finally able to see Daniel Mudie – the man responsible for abusing her – hauled into the dock of Dundee Sheriff Court this year for his actions.
Nikki thought her prayers were answered when Mudie was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
But her attacker spent only weeks behind bars after successfully appealing against his sentence – as revealed by the Tele last month.
Nikki, 38, was left devastated by the news after only receiving official notification days after the decision.
She now fears that other victims of domestic abuse will be frightened to come forward because of the successful appeal.
“What kind of message does this send out to people who are going through the same thing?” she said.
“They could have read that he got so long in prison and thought they might have a chance to do something, but will they bother now?
“It was a living hell being with him. All the lies he used to tell me, the things he would say to me. He kept me isolated from my family.
“You will only ever know the impact the abuse can have if you go through it yourself.”
Mudie, of Foundry Lane, admitted beating Nikki between January 2004 and March 2009 as well as a second woman between April 2010 and October 2012.
His calculated attacks were designed to keep Nikki’s injuries hidden so that her friends and family wouldn’t see them. During one incident, Mudie grabbed Nikki by the throat and caused her to pass out, with claims that he left her “covered in blood”.
Nikki said: “I was with him for about five years and the violence was quite regular.
“He was quite good at making sure it was places you couldn’t see but for me the worst thing was the control he would have. It was like I was under his spell.
“I would be worried about going to the shops for more than 10 minutes or wearing certain clothes.
“There was one time that he came back from the pub and choked me to the point I passed out and was covered in blood.
“I was in a clothes shop when I found out about his appeal and I stopped myself buying a top because I was worried it was too revealing. I ended up sobbing on the bus home – that’s the impact he still has on me.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown – the man who sent Mudie to prison – described his attack on Nikki as “reminiscent of a pack animal asserting dominance”.
The sheriff said: “Neither society nor this court will tolerate domestic abuse.”
Lawyers successfully argued that Mudie’s sentence was “excessive” and he was instead ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work with two years of supervision.
Despite the trauma Mudie put her through, Nikki said she is determined to speak out and hopes others will follow suit.
She added: “I am not scared of him now and I’m not going to let him win.
“Until now everyone’s only seen his name and face but they need to see the people who have suffered.
“I still can’t believe those four judges have overturned this. There is no justice for us.
“He didn’t serve a prison sentence but we are basically still serving one as victims.
“I’m not a survivor, I am still living with this.”