Warning: Graphic and Distressing content.

A UK mum-of-three revealed how she spent Christmas Day with two black eyes after a boozy attack by her husband.

Carly Henry, 26, was beaten unconscious by Mark Gilliams, 28, after he downed beer and whisky throughout the day.

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That evening, neighbours dialled 999 after hearing the attack through the walls.

Gilliams has been jailed for the attack that happened on Christmas day in 2018.

Henry said the special holiday will never be the same again.

She told how she began the day with her children, Taylor, nine, Lili, four and Charlie, three, opening presents she had left under the tree at their home in Swansea, South Wales.

"The children couldn't wait to see if Santa had been on Christmas morning. When they saw their presents the kids excitedly opened them," she recalled.

"Mark just sat on the sofa with a bottle of beer in his hand. As the morning passed I began preparing lunch and I watched Mark getting drunker and drunker.

"The kids asked him to play with them but he just grunted and kept drinking instead.

The couple had been married for less than a year when Mark Gilliams launched the Christmas Day attack. Photo / Australscope
The couple had been married for less than a year when Mark Gilliams launched the Christmas Day attack. Photo / Australscope

"Then he got up and said he was going to the shops and came back with a bottle of whisky in his hand. Soon he had swigged most of it down too.

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"I tried to reason with him and ask him to stop because it was Christmas Day but it was useless."

Henry added her family had visited during the day but left because of Gilliams's abusive behaviour.

"My family left but told me they were coming back for me and the kids because they were so worried about Mark's behaviour," she said.

"As soon as they left he started insulting me with abusive names.

"Then he punched me in the face so hard that it caused me to blackout."

A concerned neighbour who had heard the commotion had called the police at 12.45am on Boxing Day.

When officers arrived they found blood on walls, floors and cupboards.

"When I came round my family were in the house and the police," Henry recalled.

"I was drenched in blood and Mark was completely out of control.

"He sank his teeth into the policeman who was trying to arrest him."

Henry suffered two black eyes and cuts and swelling across her face.

"My kids were in bed thank goodness. I refused to go to hospital because I wouldn't leave them," she said.

Carly Henry, 26, was beaten unconscious by Mark Gilliams, 28, after he downed beer and whisky throughout the day. Photo / Australscope
Carly Henry, 26, was beaten unconscious by Mark Gilliams, 28, after he downed beer and whisky throughout the day. Photo / Australscope

"I was so glad when they got Mark out of the house and he was taken away and arrested."

The couple had been married for less than a year when Gilliams launched the Christmas Day attack.

The West Cross, Swansea man admitted battery and assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed for 42 weeks.

Gilliams was handed a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting Henry.

Henry said: "Mark ruined Christmas for us all.

"I know I am lucky to be alive. I have three beautiful children that I have to be strong for; they keep me going.

"Mark is out of our lives forever. I never want to set eyes on him again."

- Australscope

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

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