Mum tells all after thug ruined her sense of smell

A VIOLENT partner who broke his ex-girlfriend's nose leaving her with no sense of smell has been jailed.'David Darbyshire, 44, was convicted of causing law student Geraldine Faber actual bodily harm after launching a violent attack on her in her own home.
A VIOLENT partner who broke his ex-girlfriend's nose leaving her with no sense of smell has been jailed.'David Darbyshire, 44, was convicted of causing law student Geraldine Faber actual bodily harm after launching a violent attack on her in her own home.
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“It is the little things you take for granted, like knowing when your toast is burning.”

Sitting in her home in Blackpool, Geraldine Faber, 34, looks like any other mum.

Geraldine Faber who was attacked by her violent ex leaving her with no sense of smell

Geraldine Faber who was attacked by her violent ex leaving her with no sense of smell

But after a savage attack at the hands of her violent ex-partner, law student Geraldine has been left with an invisible disability which affects every aspect of her daily life.

From checking smoke alarms and cleaning her home to changing her baby’s nappy, every aspect of Geraldine’s life has changed since the attack on her last September.

Geraldine has anosmia – an unusual condition which has left her with no sense of smell or taste after her nose was broken in the attack by her ex-boyfriend David Darbyshire.

The mum-of-two says: “I used to love a roast dinner - my mouth waters thinking about it.

“Roast lamb, Yorkshire puddings, mint sauce and roast potatoes….Now I might as well eat the carpet.”

Darbyshire, 44, has been jailed for two years after the abuse and disrespect he was showing to Geraldine escalated into physical violence when she asked him to leave her home.

The thug, of Louise Street, Blackpool, denied the charge throughout the trial but was convicted of actual bodily harm by the jury at Preston Crown Court.

The oil rig worker had been out drinking at a local pub and had slept on the sofa at the house in Endsleigh Gardens, South Shore but the following morning Geraldine asked him to leave.

While her young son Noah, now two, and a playmate sat in the living room, Darbyshire attacked Geraldine in the bedroom, punching her hard to the end of her nose, causing it to fracture.

Holding her scarf to her face to stem the bleeding, Geraldine tried to gather up the children to take them to a place of safety as she called the police.

She said: “I was bleeding so much but I didn’t want Noah to see. He had locked the doors and I was so scared in case he started on the children. I was thinking ‘what will I do? Will I have to get a knife? I would do whatever it took to protect those babies.”

Meanwhile Darbyshire walked around the house calmly, as if it was any other morning.

Geraldine said: “It was just bizarre, really weird the way he was acting.”

Eventually Darbyshire left the house and Geraldine waited with a neighbour for the emergency services to come.

But what followed was to change her life.

At Blackpool Victoria Hospital X-rays revealed two fractures to Geraldine’s nose - one at the septum and one at the bridge - which would need plastic surgery.

To date she has had two operations under general anaesthetic to repair the injuries to her face.

It was while she sat drinking a cup of tea, her nose packed and dressed, recovering from her operation that Geraldine noticed something was wrong.

She says: “I just thought it was strange that I couldn’t smell. I thought it was the packing blocking my nose.

“Then my taste went.

“I have always loved smells - I love my Chanel Mademoiselle perfume and my Yankee candles, but I can’t enjoy them now.

“I still burn my scented candles because I am paranoid about how my house smells. I clean it and open the windows, but it could smell dreadful and I wouldn’t know.

“I can’t even smell when Noah needs his nappy changing.

“The only thing I enjoy is cola. I can feel the fizzing sensation and I like that. I get through gallons of it now.

“I can tell temperatures - I might have an ice cream and it feels cold, but I couldn’t tell you what flavour it was. To me it doesn’t have a flavour.

“I get no enjoyment from my food anymore.

“It makes me so angry to think he could do this to me, and to do it when there were children in the house.

“It is disgusting - I am a mum, a daughter, a sister. I didn’t deserve this.”

Judge Philip Sycamore, sentencing, said: “This was a very serious incident of domestic violence.

“The court of appeal has made it abundantly clear that those who involve themselves in domestic violence, particularly where there are aggravating features as there are in this case with the assault taking place in the complainant’s own home while there were children present, in circumstances where she felt she had to leave the property, and where there is an ongoing effect, including the need for corrective surgery, go to custody.”

Geraldine has since found out through Claire’s Law that other women had made complaints against Darbyshire but didn’t press charges.

She said: “The court process was horrific, having to give evidence with him sitting there in the dock, but I didn’t just do this for me.

“I did it for those other women and for all women. I have a teenage daughter and I have to set an example to her.

“No woman should accept violence.”

Since the attack Geraldine - a self-employed eyelash technician - has started studying law at the University of Central Lancashire.

She added: “It just is such a relief to know he has gone to prison.”