Published: 15:27, 25 November 2020
| Updated: 17:27, 25 November 2020
A brave woman has spoken of how an abusive relationship led her to overdose as she felt "that was the only way out".
Robson was sentenced today at Maidstone Crown Court to 27 months in prison and was banned from contacting Ms Salter and her family for five years, after he pleaded guilty to a charge of coercive and controlling behaviour between November and July.
Judge Tony Baumgartner: "These were serious and ugly offences.These were nasty injuries."
Robson claimed that during his 10 years serving in the army in Iraq and Iran he was left with PTSD.
He admitted whipping Ms Salter with a belt, strangling her, threatening her with a weapon and also threatening to kill himself.
The army veteran, of Lunsford Lane, also pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Salter, causing her actual harm and common assault.
In her victim impact statement which she read out at court, Ms Salter described how their relationship at first was "truly amazing" and the pair made each other extremely happy.
"It almost felt like love at first sight so our relationship moved very quickly. Richard wanted to be with me all the time and when he wasn't with me he was messaging me constantly and I loved it," she said.
However, as times went on warning signs about Robson emerged. He lied to her and belittled her, before passing it off as a joke.
But Ms Salter, who lived in Larkfield at the time with Robson, was so besotted she ignored any concerns, not wanting to lose her "cheeky, loving and caring" boyfriend.
She said: "My life became a bubble of just Richard and I. I started to lose contact with family, friends and colleagues."
Her best friends shared their concerns with her about Robson but she couldn't see what they were seeing.
However she soon began to witness a different side to him.
Ms Salter said: "Sometimes he could change from being happy to angry in a matter of moments but other times I could feel his anger all day until the point he would flip and attack me.
"He would ensure it was always behind closed doors. I become very scared and frightened of him and he knew it."
"At the same time he would also regularly revert back to the amazing Richard I fell madly in love with. He would want to kiss me, cuddle me, spoil me, have days out with me, spend every moment with me and make me feel so loved.
After months of Robson's violence and "erratic personality" Ms Salter took an overdose in June.
"My happiness, my freedom, peace and joy for life has been completely taken by Richard. I felt like that was the only way out," she said.
In July, After Robson attacked Ms Salter so badly she needed an x-ray on her face and stitches to her ear, she decided to escape. Even now, months on, she still sees flashing lights in her right eye.
'This time I knew I had to escape as I believed at some point he would kill me...'
She said: "If I ever threatened to leave Richard previously, he would either say he would kill me, my pets, himself or he would be really nice, caring, loving and try to make everything better, I would always end up staying as I believed him.
"This time I knew I had to escape as I genuinely believed at some point he would kill me.
"Even though Richard has utterly destroyed me, even though I discovered I am the fourth girlfriend to experience his abuse I am still in love with him and I hate it."
"Even after every violent attack he inflicted on me I felt like it was him who I needed afterwards to comfort me, cuddle me and look after me. It was a constant cycle of abuse, control and manipulation."
After reaching out for help Miss Salter "spiralled into a deep dark hole" and took an overdose again in August. She was in hospital for three nights.
"I remember a doctor saying to me I could die but at that point I just didn't care," she recalled.
As Robson was facing court, she says he and a family member conspired to manipulate her to change her story and paint Robson in a better light.
Ms Salter, who now lives in Medway, hopes with counselling, medication and support from loved ones she can eventually move on and be happy but admits there is a "very long road ahead."
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