A bride has revealed how her ex-husband attacked her on her wedding night before subjecting her to routine rapes when he decided he wanted to a child.
Charlotte Walford, from Northampton, thought her husband Spencer Walford was the man of her dreams. But, hours after exchanging vows, the violent 28-year-old began subjecting her to brutal attacks.
The campaign of abuse, which started at the couple's wedding reception, continued for months until she finally reported the abuse to police.
Hours after exchanging vows, 28-year-old Spencer (pictured together) started subjecting her to brutal attacks
Walford even subjected his wife to a series of rapes when he decided he wanted her to have their child.
The 29-year-old has now revealed how she was too ashamed to tell anyone what was going on until she became pregnant with their son.
In an attempt to protect her unborn baby, Ms Walford went to the police and testified against her husband.
He is now serving a 14-year jail term after pleading guilty to rape and other assaults against Ms Walford.
She has now waived her right to anonymity to share her story and encourage other women in abusive relationships to speak out.
She said: 'I wish I had never got together with Spencer, but you can't go through life with regrets. At least now he is where he belongs.'
Ms Walford met her future husband on a shopping trip.
The pair had a whirlwind relationship and, after six months together, he proposed.
Eight weeks later, the couple got married in their town register office, inviting just a handful of friends and family.
But, during their reception in their local pub that evening, Walford took his wife to one side and exploded at her for being 'drunk'.
In an attempt to protect her unborn baby, Ms Walford went to the police and testified against her husband
Ms Walford and her husband with some of their family at their registry office wedding. She had always wanted a larger ceremony
Ms Walford recalled: 'I'd had a few glasses of wine and was taking the rare opportunity to have a good night on my wedding day, but I was by no means out of control.
'I didn't understand. I didn't even get a chance to say goodnight to my friends as he dragged me back towards the house.'
He then grabbed her by the hair so she was turned around to face him.
'He told me I was his wife now and I needed to act like it, before slapping me hard around the face,' she said.
Walford is ow serving a 14-year jail term after pleading guilty to rape and other assaults
Walford then returned to the party, leaving his devastated wife behind. It was the start of many times that Walford was violent towards her.
Ms Walford recalled how, on one occasion, he punched her in the eye before grabbing her throat to stifle her screams.
'By our first anniversary I was black and blue with bruises,' she said.
'I avoided my family and friends completely, desperate to hide my bruises. In truth I was ashamed to be a battered wife.'
On another occasion, Walford told her he thought it was time they had a baby. Afraid of his violent temper, Ms Walford pretended she had stopped taking the pill and kept her prescription hidden.
But Walford soon realised her plan and threw her pills away.
'Soon in addition to my regular beatings, I was subjected to brutal rapes as he wanted to become a dad – one of which finally got me pregnant with my second son,' Ms Walford said.
'I remember seeing the blue line appear on the test and thinking he would be happy now he had what he wanted and that he might leave me alone.
'But a bigger part of me was devastated to be bringing another child into this toxic environment. That was when I decided I needed to make a plan to leave.'
The final straw came one afternoon when Walford told their friends he had cut up his wife's cardigan and used it to 'wipe his arse' in a bid to teach her not to forget to buy toilet roll.
She has now waived her right to anonymity to share her story and encourage other women in abusive relationships to speak out
'I went upstairs to cool down. I sat down with a pad and pen and started writing down everything Spencer had put me through,' she said.
'The next time he hit me a few weeks later I called the police and let them see the list. They told me I needed to press charges and finally I had the courage to.'
At trial, Walford pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of common assault and three counts of assault causing actual bodily harm.
He was sentenced to 14 years at Northampton Crown Court – nine years in custody and an extension licence period of five years.
Throughout the trial, Ms Walford's previous partner Jack was a pillar of support. He was then there by her side when she gave birth to Walford's son two months later.
The pair later decided to give their relationship another go and recently moved in together.
Ms Walford said: 'Both my sons love having him around and I finally realise what it is to be happy too.'