Hammer attack mum shares her story

Blind in one eye and in a wheelchair
but daughters give her reason to live

Monica Robbins is blind in one eye and wheelchair-bound.

COLAC’S Monica Robbins will never know why her husband brutally attacked her with a hammer, leaving her wheelchair-bound and blind in one eye.

But she does know she is lucky to be alive and to have four daughters who give her a reason to keep going.

“We’ll never know why he did it,” she said.

“We both had permanent work, a lovely home and four fantastic girls.

“But now they’re my girls because he gave up the right to call them his when he did this.”

Ian Robbins was sentenced to 11 years jail for the violent crime he committed in his family’s Scotts Creek home in June last year but Mrs Robbins said he deserved more time in prison.

“He should have got a life sentence because that’s what he’s given me,” she said.

“The judge said it warranted 20 years but because he handed himself in, that was to his advantage.”

Monica Robbins with daughter Michaela, aunt Heather Huntly, mother Susan Cook, and daughters Delta, Natarsha, and Claire.

Mrs Robbins said she had no memory of the event but two of her daughters witnessed the frightening attack which ended when he took a rifle and left her for dead.

“I have to keep reassuring Delta – she’s six now – that he’s locked up.

“She watched it happen out the window.

“She has terrible nightmares and wakes up hysterical that Dad’s coming back,” she said.

“And Michaela was left holding me until the police and my mum got there, thinking I was dead and her sisters were in the house.

“All I remember is being on the phone to Mum trying to work out if we would catch up before or after milking the next day.

Police escort Ian Robbins out of Colac Police Station after the attack.

“It was going to be my brother’s 21st and my mum’s birthday, both on the same day.

“We’d been to the speedway the night before and I didn’t think anything was wrong.

“I thought I had a good relationship. We had arguments but anyone who’s married and says they don’t is lying.

“He even wrote me a letter telling me I was the best mum, the best wife and his best friend.

“And he’d never been violent before, otherwise I would have been out the door.”

“I thought I had a good relationship. We had arguments but anyone who’s married and says they don’t is lying.”

Geelong’s County Court judge Gerard Mullaly heard during sentencing that Mr Robbins struck his wife in the head three times.

“I was lucky I had arms on the chair and I’d slumped on the table because they said if I had hit the ground I would have been dead,” Mrs Robbins said

She said her husband’s sentencing was one chapter closed but she had ongoing physiotherapy treatment and needed 30 tablets a day.

Mrs Robbins, who has lost the use of her left arm and leg, said “the simplest task” was impossible without the support of her eldest daughter Michaela or adult family member.

She said Michaela, 15, helped her out of bed every morning, showered and dressed her and made breakfast for the family before going to school.

“Unless there’s another adult with us we can’t even do the supermarket shopping because someone needs to push me in the wheelchair and someone else needs to push the trolley,” Mrs Robbins said.

Mrs Robbins’ aunt Heather Huntly said her niece had lost her freedom and been left with the humiliation of her shocking injuries.

“She has to have her food cut up for her and if we go people always stare.

“Imagine if it happened to us. Just imagine,” Mrs Huntly said.

Mrs Robbins said her immediate family supported her throughout the ordeal and she thanked people who had helped her family cope with the traumatic event.

“There were people who helped my mum and my aunt, even while they were waiting for me to wake up from the coma,” she said.

“I’m always going to need their support but at least I have a lifetime of memories with my girls ahead.”

Mr Robbins will serve a minimum of eight years and six months in jail and had already served 417 days when sentenced last Friday.

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