A BUBBLY mum-of-two, who was subjected to a brutal attack by the man she met on an internet dating site, is pleading with others to stay safe online.
Susan Hulbert had signed up to free dating site Plenty of Fish last December, hopeful of finding love like so many friends before her.
After being inundated by messages, there was one that caught the attractive 31-year-old’s eye; Gavin Taylor.
“I started talking to Gavin pretty much straight away,” said Susan, from Chelmsley Wood.
“He seemed quite normal. There are quite a few strange people on there so when you have someone normal, you notice.”
After texting everyday, the pair eventually met on Sunday afternoon, February 20, in a Solihull pub.
“When we met he seemed nice and I thought he was a gentleman.”
The couple started ‘seeing’ each other but Susan began to feel a creeping suspicion that the high-flying chemical salesman wasn’t the prince charming he appeared.
“He would get really angry with things, the police especially,” she said.
Things came to a head on April 21, when Susan went to stay at his Telford home for the weekend. When Susan confronted him about receiving texts from an unknown person, and the 34 year-old lashed out.
“He hit my head against the wall, and I slipped down and started crying. He started punching me in my face. I had bruises all over my hands and face from where I tried to protect myself.”
Susan freed herself and ran outside where she was grabbed again by Taylor, who began dragging her back to the house.
Mercifully, a neighbour heard her screams and called the police. She’d suffered a fractured cheekbone, large bumps to the head and bruising across her face and body.
At Telford Magistrates Court last week, Taylor pleaded guilty to assault by beating and received a two-year community order with supervision and a restraining order to keep away from Susan and out of Chelmsley Wood.
He was also ordered to pay her £125 compensation.
But the formerly happy-go-lucky mum said: “He should have gone to prison.
“He is a danger to women.”