THE son of a violent man who made his disabled wife endure nearly two decades of horrific abuse has bravely spoken out.

Bruce Summers junior, from Saltcoats, is hoping to raise awareness of the severity of growing up in a home affected by domestic abuse.

From being kicked out of his former home in Dumbarton at the age of 15 to being one of the youngest people to use a food bank, the 25-year-old describes how he has learned to rebuild his life after his vicious father Bruce Summers destroyed it.

He was given a sentence of 150 hours’ unpaid work at Dumbarton Sheriff Court after he subjected his now ex-wife Sharon McCallion to weekly beatings and emotional abuse for nearly 18 years.

He admitted a charge of repeatedly assaulting her by hitting her on the head, throwing her at stairs and pushing her in various homes in Dumbarton and Kilmarnock between the years of 2002 and 2019.

As well as the community payback order, the 47-year-old was ordered not to contact Sharon for three years.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Sharon McCallionSharon McCallion

During the hearing, at which Summers’ son was present, defence solicitor Paul Sweeney claimed that his client was hoping to “let the dust settle and reconcile with his son”.

However, Bruce junior insists that “justice hasn’t been served” by his father’s sentencing – and is desperate to make a change for people who are stuck in the same situation.

The 25-year-old told the Herald: “Why should someone pay back the community when they destroyed somebody’s life?

“This is nothing to do with the community, as it hasn’t affected them. There isn’t a good enough justice that will make anything better.

“A lot happened behind closed doors.”

Bruce junior added: “At the time he was consuming a lot of alcohol which never helped as it triggered his aggression further.

“It is so hard to break that barrier and leave.

“It’s so much more challenging to just walk away, especially when I had to look out for my mum.

“My sister and myself were constantly blamed for things.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Sharon with her daughter SamanthaSharon with her daughter Samantha

“We were always in trouble and told that we were the ones that were going to kill our mum as we were making her MS worse.”

Bruce also poured cold water on his father’s hopes for reconciliation with his son, saying that he doesn’t want to have any contact with his father as long as he lives.

He added: “There was never a father-son bond. Growing up for me was a struggle.

“I was put out at the age of 15 and put on the streets. I was using a food bank and trying to fend for myself, because it was brainwashed into my head that everything I was doing as a child, such as getting into mischief and hanging out with friends, wasn’t allowed.

“I simply couldn’t have that. I lived in homeless accommodations for months.

“I had nobody there to shelter me, to give me moral support or a direction.

“I remember seeing an article saying I was one of the youngest people to use a food bank in that area and it was just humiliating.

“How can he ever be happy knowing that is what he did to me?

“My childhood was hard, but being out on the streets was tougher.

“He was the one who was supposed to look after me and teach me life lessons that any son would want.

“Instead, the only lesson I learned was how not to be like him. I wish to never contact him for as long as he lives.

“Wishing death upon him wouldn’t even be enough for the suffering we had to endure. What he did was cruel and evil.”

Sharon has also stepped forward to share her side with the Herald after she gathered enough courage to leave.

She believes her ex-husband’s behaviour was a major contributor towards the death of their daughter, Samantha.

The Dumbarton mum, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), was just 16 when they became a couple and explained how alarm bells were ringing after they married around six months later.

She said: “I was young and didn’t know right from wrong.

“You think you are in love, but I was just in a bad situation with my family trying to find a way out. He was my way out before I was trapped again.

“At the beginning, it was mind games. One time we had an argument, and it was about something petty.

“My dad had come through because I was upset, and while we were in the bedroom, he picked up a picture and flung it to the ground in the living room and shouted, ‘Sharon, what did you do that for?’.

“He used my MS against my kids. He would say ‘don’t tell mum’ and ‘you’re making mum ill’.”

She added: “I don’t know how I stayed. I didn’t want a difficult life. All I ever wanted to achieve was making my kids happy.

“They were, and still are, my whole world. They got me through hell and back.”

Sharon said she’d tried to leave several times, and on one occasion she had a bag packed – but decided she couldn’t go through with it.

But just before leaving the wife-beater for good in 2019, Sharon’s world was torn apart when she received a devastating call to tell her Samantha was gravely ill in hospital after taking an overdose.

Samantha, a much-loved mum-of-three, sadly died on September 21 that year.

Sharon said that while her daughter couldn’t save her own life, Samantha nonetheless saved her mum.

“She knew how to light up a room,” Sharon said.

“She had the most beautiful smile and was like a true friend to me. She was a completely devoted mother. I couldn’t be prouder of her. There is no one like Samantha.

“Don’t get me wrong – she had her struggles, like everyone else, but she adored her children and her partner, so I believe she wasn’t ready to leave.

“I think it was a desperate cry for help. I told him before the funeral that I was leaving and he wasn’t going to stop me.

“He had the audacity to try to control where the funeral was held, but I decided, for once in his life, he wasn’t in control.”

She added: “It is disgusting to think my daughter had to die for me to walk away.”

And just like Bruce junior, Sharon is encouraging those living in an abusive relationship to come forward and not suffer in silence.

She said: “It is so important to speak to someone. Nobody should have to say they suffered from domestic violence.

“If we don’t stand up and speak out for the voices who have been silenced then this will continue to happen.

“I can’t ever change my past but I will do everything in my power to change others’ futures.”