A woman whose eye sockets, face and skull were fractured in a sickening attack by her ex-soldier boyfriend has opened up about the horrifying abuse she suffered.
Jessica Bowes was left for dead by Jonathan McSherry, and every bone in her face was broken.
McSherry, the father of Jessica's children, viciously attacked her days before Christmas in 2015 when she arrived at her home in a taxi.
He breached a barring order to go to her home, RSVP Live reports, where he repeatedly punched and kicked her.
McSherry was given a three-and-a-half-year sentence with 12 months suspended. He served 22 months for the attack.
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Brave mum Jessica waived her right to anonymity to speak out against the leniency of domestic violence laws.
She said she was shocked by the sentence her ex was handed in court.
She told RSVP Live: "I remember sitting in the courtroom looking at his reaction to the CCTV footage.
"He didn’t watch it, he looked at the ceiling.
"Then the judge handed down her sentence, and I just thought 'That’s it! He will be out in two years.'
"I was so disappointed, and I knew at that moment that I’d never be able to just accept that.
"I believe he should have been charged with attempted murder.
"I wanted to get my message out that the court system treats domestic violence cases with greater leniency than random assaults, and that can’t continue!"
Jessica says that her two little girls were also a motivation for her to publicly speak out.
She stated: "I have two daughters and I’d like to think that someday, should they need to, they can rely on the legal system to protect them, and I hope they feel like they have the appropriate supports available to help them if they ever find themselves in a dangerous situation."
Despite suffering horrific injuries, Jessica refuses to be a victim, and insists that her life has changed for the better because of what she's been through.
She added: "It’s made me stronger actually. I will never allow anyone to hurt me like that ever again. It has changed me in a good way.
"I want to go back to college in September. I have been looking at Social Science courses because I would love the chance to apply my own life experiences to my work.
"I want to help as many women and children as I can and just keep moving forward."
The consequences of her injuries included that she found it impossible to fully close her lips due to the damage and felt her face appeared deformed. Doctors had to insert a permanent metal plate through her mouth to align the facial bones.
Psychological evidence showed she had symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety, nightmares and is fearful for her own safety and that of her children. She was described by psychologists as severely damaged and vulnerable.
In a high court case earlier this month, Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon awarded Bowes €150,000 in damages following the attack.
Recalling the attack in West Dublin, on December 20, 2015, she previously said: “I returned home from a Christmas party and he was hiding in my garden.
“He assaulted me so badly I needed to have reconstructive surgery on my face.
“I lost consciousness twice and he continued to kick and punch me even while I was lying on the ground.
“I hid under a neighbour’s car for protection. On Christmas Eve I discharged myself against medical advice.
“I left hospital with nothing but an outpatient’s appointment to get the stitches out.
“I had no social worker referral, counselling or any kind of help for me and my children.
“I was sent home with a plate in my face and not offered any help. The only help I was afforded was from Women’s Aid.”