Dartford mum took her own life before trial of abusive ex

A Dartford mum-of-two took her own life because she was ‘petrified’ at the prospect of facing her abusive and violent ex-boyfriend in court.

Images show the horrific abuse Gemma Robinson, 34, suffered at the hands of ex-partner Joseph Falconer, who was described by a judge as a “dangerous, jealous and controlling man.”

Now Gemma’s devastated family have launched a campaign urging the public to support tougher sentencing for her abuser, also releasing the photos of her injuries.

Falconer, 33, was jailed for three years and four months on February 4 at Maidstone Crown Court, but is now likely to be freed in as little as six months due to time spent on remand.

Kirsty Robinson say her and her family “feel cheated by the justice system” and say they want to see a much longer sentencing for Falconer “as he was the reason my sister decided to take her own life.”

News Shopper: Gemma Robinson (Kirsty Robinson)Gemma Robinson (Kirsty Robinson)

During a court trial, judges heard some of the abuse Ms Robinson had suffered, including how Falconer had grabbed Ms Robinson by the throat and repeatedly punched her in the face, before spitting on her in November 2019.

Falconer had been subject to a restraining order at the time of the horrific attack, and but denied inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and was due to stand trial in September 2020.

Gemma, a fitness instructor from Dartford, was found hanged in her home in July 2020, just as Falconer was attempting to secure bail.

A month after Ms Robinson’s death he pleaded guilty to the less serious offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm and one of criminal damage.

Ms Robinson’s family reportedly sat in court holding a framed photo of her, and speaking afterwards, they blamed Falconer, from East Sussex, as responsible for the mum taking her own life.

Sister Kirsty has now launched a petition aiming to “get justice for Gemma” and the horrific abuse she received.

The family have chosen to release the photos following the attack in November 2019, which left her with horrific injuries, broken eye socket, cuts to her lips, bruises all over her face, neck & arms.

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“My sisters ex-partner was waiting to be sentenced but unfortunately the psychological impact of the horrific assault that Joe Falconer did to my sister in 2019 took its toll and she decided to take her own life instead of face him in court July last year,” she explained.

Kirsty said the thought of having to face her ex-partner in court had been “eating her up” and had been severely affected by the attack, physically and psychologically.

“With this sentence (the three years and four months in jailed sentenced on February 4) this means he would be out of prison in a matter of six months because he has been in remand since the attack.

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“Myself and my family feel cheated by the justice system and we want to see a much longer sentencing for Joseph Falconer as he was the reason my sister decided to take her own life.”

She added: “We are appealing his sentence but there is no guarantee it will get accepted so with your help by signing this petition we will get a chance to fight this sentence and get the justice my sister deserves.”

The petition currently has over 6,000 signatures, and can be viewed here.

Samaritans is available 24/7 every day of the year, to listen and offer support to anyone who is struggling to cope.

People can contact Samaritans by phone, free of charge, on 116123, via email at jo@samaritans.org or can visit www.samaritans.org to find details of their local branch.

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