Battered girlfriend faked listening to music to call 999 on her abusive ex

A victim of domestic abuse too terrified to report her controlling boyfriend to police escaped by secretly calling 999 in front of him whilst pretending to listen to music.

Chloe Campbell, 20, called the police right in front of her boyfriend, Billy Walsh, 32, by pretending to log into a music app on her mobile phone.

Billy was escorting Chloe around the street for a morning stroll when the mum called for help using a microphone on her earphones to communicate with emergency services.

During the call, Chloe, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, told a 999 operator she was "being controlled" by her boyfriend and in need of help.

She said: "I can't say much but I'm being controlled by my boyfriend and I need help.

"I can direct you to our house, but I need to be careful.

"She then kept the line open and tricked Walsh into saying he liked her black jacket and bobble hat before asking him: Shall we walk home past Dunelm, past the fire station and then up our road?"

The information was successfully overheard by the operator, who told police, and enabled them to arrive at the scene minutes later.

Chloe has bravely decided to go public about her ordeal, during which she was mauled, strangled and doused with lighter fluid by Walsh.

He had even vowed to set her on fire during a brutal six hour beating, that alienated her from friends and family after she met Walsh at the age of 17.

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Of the ordeal, Chloe said: "Billy was the love of my life and I never imagined he would ever want to harm me, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. He abused me in the place I called home and I worry that the lockdown measures will mean victims of violent domestic crimes will be totally helpless.

"What happened to be shows how difficult walking away from an abusive partner can be at the best of times – but I fear the harsh lockdown measures will leave so many victims unable to walk away or escape their perpetrators and will have catastrophic consequences.

"At one time Billy and I had planned a whole lifetime together, he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and at first I actually thought I'd struck gold."

She went on to say Walsh would turn into a "monster" after he drank heavily and would fly off the handle only to be the "perfect partner all over again" once he sobered up.

Chloe said Walsh would also call her a "f***ing dirty slag" and a "liar" and once threw beer bottles at her before the physical abuse began.

Describing the ordeal, she said: "As soon as we moved in, he snatched my mobile phone out of my hands, deleted the contact details of friends I'd known for years. He would tell me: "I'm the only one you need, now, it's just you and me," and even isolated me from my family as he was paranoid that we were talking about him behind his back.

"In time, Billy began drinking heavily and it turned him into a monster. When I begged him to slow down, he would fly into a rage then whenever hey sobered up, he was the perfect partner all over again, so it was very confusing. It was easy to believe his apologies because they seemed so sincere. But I didn't know back then just how manipulative he was.

"One night, after he had been drinking, Billy accused me of sleeping with a friend and even though I told him he was wrong and that he was the only one I wanted, he flew into a violent rage. He called me a "f***ing dirty slag", a "liar" and threw an empty beer bottles at me.

"I could do nothing but stand helplessly as the broken glass collected at my bare feet. I felt so vulnerable, like a child. Then, he slapped me hard across the face and I was heartbroken. I knew Billy could be snappy and unpredictable but I never dreamt he'd lay a finger on me."

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It was on New Year's Eve 2017 when Chloe knew "enough was enough" after he tied her up, straddled her and bit down on her nose.

She said: "He kept chanting: "You're going to pay," like he was possessed. Then he tied me down to our bed, tying my hands together. He straddled me, opened his mouth wide and bit down on my nose until it shattered between his jaws. The pain was unlike anything I had ever felt in my life.

"Then Billy swung his fist at my face, smashing my cheekbone. He grabbed his open can of cider from nearby and threw its contents over me before kicking me hard in the stomach. I felt my ribs crunch as he laughed and said: "I'm going to set you on fire and watch you burn," before dousing me in lighter fluid.

"I closed my eyes tightly and thought 'this is it; this is how I die' – then I remembered I had removed the flints from all his lighters. He was so livid that he couldn't fulfil his twisted vow and six hours, he held me prisoner. He beat me in any way he could until, eventually, he passed out drunk. As I lay trembling, blood-soaked and terrified, I knew enough was enough."

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Walsh, who was jailed for three years, admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Minshull Crown Court.

His lawyer, Patrick Williamson, claimed Walsh had a difficult upbringing and said Walsh describes a Jekyll and Hyde type personality.

He said: "The victim describes a Jekyll and Hyde personality where he would become physically and mentally abusive.

"But he has had little in the way of training when it comes to his ability to form relationships with others."

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