Woman found hiding in bush covered in blood after horrendous abuse by Sunderland man

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A man who launched a sinister campaign of abuse against a former partner was eventually snared after his victim was found hiding in a garden bush covered in blood.


Robert Kepczyk had been in a relationship with the victim, but their time together was plagued by his controlling and violent behaviour.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Prosecutor Helen Towers told Newcastle Crown Court that the defendant would not allow her to go certain places and he monitored her movements via cameras installed at their address.


He also grabbed her around the neck and punched and slapped her.


The 30-year-old, of Rhonda Road, Sunderland, was found guilty by a jury of controlling and coercive behaviour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and intentional strangulation. He also admitted breaching a restraining order.


Judge Gavin Doig told the defendant it was clear that the relationship was controlling and told him: "I saw the photos showing unpleasant and undoubtedly painful injuries to multiple parts of her body.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The jury rejected, as do I, your suggestion that her injuries may have been self-inflicted."


The judge sentenced him to three years and eight months behind bars.


Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court: "It was not a good relationship, it was plagued by defendant's verbal abuse, his jealousy, and his controlling behaviour and his violence.


"The defendant went through her mobile phone and monitored it. He called her abusive names like s*** and w**** and called her fat. He called her a useless mother and her house was disgusting.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The defendant and the complainant installed cameras to monitor attendance of the police but the defendant used these cameras to monitor the complainant and who she was speaking to.


"Throughout the relationship he used and threatened unlawful violence against her."


Ms Towers said the defendant assaulted her on the first occasion while the woman began making arrangements with her ex-husband to see her children.


The court heard this caused tension with Kepczyk and he eventually grabbed her by the throat.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He let go and made his way downstairs and the victim was able to place her phone on record and capture him returning to the room where he became verbally abusive.


Ms Towers continued: "He slapped her on the back causing her back to bruise, that was captured on the recording.


"The defendant again left the bedroom before returning to pack his bags. The pair argued again and the defendant grabbed her in a chokehold.


"When she left the address she went to her ex-partner's house to tell him what had happened and he duly called the police."


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, the victim later retracted her statement and said the pair had reconciled with each other. The defendant was placed on bail and ordered not to contact her.


But the relationship resumed and the defendant turned up at the woman's house with his dog.


Ms Towers said: "The complainant was sitting on the edge of the bed and the defendant punched her really hard to the back of the head.


"The defendant was telling her he wanted to smash her face in."


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The court heard on a further occasion, Kepczyk begged his victim to strike him and he threatened that if she didn't, he would harm himself.


Ms Towers said he ended up slapping her which caused a piercing to rip before neighbours called the police.


When officers arrived, Kepczyk told them he was the only person present inside the address and said the sound of the other voice was his mother who he had been speaking on the phone to.


However, Ms Towers said: "The police searched the address and found no one inside.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When they entered the garden they then found (the complainant) hiding in a bush covered in blood. She told them the defendant had assaulted her when she was alone."


In a brave impact statement read out in court, the woman said: "I felt like my anxiety and depression was at an all time high and I couldn't see how I would get myself out of it.


"I was already struggling to sleep, the nightmares would make me think Robert was trying to get to me."


The victim added that things have started to look up for her and that there has been a "massive improvement" in her life.


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Graham O'Sullivan, defending, told the court: "This was his first and perhaps only serious relationship and the jury's findings would suggest someone who was not well equipped for a serious relationship at that time and clearly this was not a healthy relationship for either of them."


Mr O'Sullivan said that Kepczyk had witnessed domestic abuse as a child.


He added: "Clearly there is much work that needs to be done on how he interacts with women."


The restraining order imposed was ordered tor remain in place.

Related topics: