IT WAS meant to be a fun weekend away - but a trip to London turned to terror for a Basingstoke mum after she suffered a broken collarbone in a brutal attack by her violent boyfriend.
The scar on Carly Norman's right shoulder is a constant reminder of the harrowing ordeal she suffered when Richard Swain viciously assaulted her.
“I really was scared for my life,” said the 32-year-old mum.
The mother-of-one told an Old Bailey jury that the attack happened after she tried to persuade her boyfriend to get up for breakfast at the hotel they were staying in by playfully splashing water over him.
The court heard that Swain flew into a rage, tackled Miss Norman to the floor, tried to strangle her and repeatedly punched her, resulting in her collarbone protruding from her skin.
Swain is now awaiting sentence after the jury found him guilty of attacking his long-time girlfriend.
Speaking after the trial, beauty consultant Miss Norman, who has been off work since the attack, told The Gazette: “It all happened so quickly that I didn't realise what he was doing.
“My mind was blank. I kept thinking 'I have got to get out of this room.' He could have killed me - I could have hit my head.
“He was over me and I managed to kick him off with my legs. It happened in front of the door so I turned round and grabbed the door and got out. The lady next door heard it all and she made me a sling out of a table cloth.”
She added: “When I was waiting for the ambulance, it was the most intense pain. It was worse than having a baby.”
Miss Norman, who has a nine-year-old daughter, underwent surgery on her shoulder to fuse the broken right collarbone back together, but said she has lost some of the feeling in her arm.
The mum, who said she met Swain while they were both working at The Rhu Bar, at Top of The Town, Basingstoke, hopes that telling her story will give other victims of domestic violence the courage to seek help.
She said: “When he did it, I was heartbroken and upset, but now I'm over that. I never want to speak to him again.”
She added: “I wasn't a very happy person but now I'm out of the relationship, I'm starting to get my life back.”
The trial heard the attack happened when the couple, who had been together eight years, were staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in London, on December 2 last year, and had spent the night at a fancy dress party on a boat on the Thames. The weekend away had been paid for by 39-year-old Swain's IT consultancy employer.
Swain, who claimed Miss Norman's injuries were caused accidentally, is now facing a possible jail sentence after the jury, by a majority of 10 to two, found him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm without intent after five-and-a-half hours of deliberation. He is due to be sentenced later this month.
Swain, who now lives in Foyle Park, Cranbourne, Basingstoke, is maintaining his innocence. This week, he told The Gazette: “I'm devastated that she was injured, of course I am, but it was an accident.”