Fella booked ho­tel room… To do this

Pick Me Up! - - CONTENTS -

Ly­ing in bed, I reached for my phone and saw a text from my boyfriend Liam. An­other one. Where are you? Who are you with?

It wasn’t all that long ago that his texts would give me but­ter­flies in my stom­ach. Now, anx­i­ety churned in­stead.

It was this March, and we’d been dat­ing for the past few months af­ter meet­ing in a bar.

Out­go­ing and con­fi­dent, Liam had daz­zled me with his com­pli­ments.

He’d seemed dif­fer­ent from blokes I’d dated in the past.

It wasn’t just his words, he’d treat me to din­ner, too, and never let me pay the bill.

I saw a fu­ture with Liam. And when he started mes­sag­ing more of­ten, at first I was thrilled.

He’s smit­ten, too, I thought. But now, those sweet noth­ings had turned into not so sweet de­mands.

The re­lent­less ques­tions had my phone ping­ing ev­ery few min­utes. I’d dread open­ing a mes­sage from him.

He’ll calm down, I thought, try­ing to con­vince my­self. I wanted the old Liam back. Then, af­ter four months to­gether, I planned a night out with some girl­friends.

As we got ready to­gether, knock­ing back cock­tails and try­ing on out­fits, my phone con­tin­u­ously buzzed.

‘One guess who that is,’ my friends groaned.

Sigh­ing, I picked up my phone to see Liam had sent an­other stream of an­gry texts.

Your friends are a bad in­flu­ence, you should be go­ing

out with me, one said. Enough was enough. I couldn’t live like this any more. My friends agreed I should break things off.

I don’t want to see you

again. It’s over, I wrote. Si­lenc­ing my phone, we headed out to a cou­ple of bars in town.

A few hours later, I glanced at my phone. Come out­side, I’ve got a sur­prise, please, texted Liam.

How did he know where I was?

Why hadn’t he got the mes­sage?

Now he was here, I de­cided I’d hear him out one last time.

Telling my friends about Liam’s mes­sage, I said I’d be back soon.

Walk­ing out of the bar, I held my head high as I spot­ted Liam lean­ing on his car.

Smil­ing at me, it was as though we hadn’t split up. He reached out for a hug. But as soon as I was near, he grabbed the back of my neck.

‘If you don’t come with me right now, I’ll make a scene,’ he growled into my ear.

I felt numb, con­fused as to what to do next. I don’t know why I didn’t call for help, but I just climbed into the car.

Liam got in, slam­ming his foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor.

Smelling the al­co­hol on his breath, I felt panic ris­ing and grabbed on to the door han­dle.

‘Where are we go­ing?’ I asked, my bot­tom lip trem­bling.

Pulling into the car park of a ho­tel I recog­nised, I kept quiet.

‘Look, let’s go in, have a chat, and we can talk about mak­ing this work,’ Liam said, now seem­ingly calm.

He said he’d booked a room so we could chat pri­vately.

Nod­ding, I agreed to go in with him.

What choice did I have? But as soon as I walked into the room, Liam grabbed my mo­bile from my hand and locked the door be­hind him.

Scrolling through my phone, his face sud­denly dropped.

‘Tin­der! Are you kid­ding me?’ he screamed, throw­ing it across the room and smash­ing it.

As I went to pick it up, Liam grabbed me by my throat and threw me on the bed.

‘What are you do­ing?’ I cried.

Stand­ing up, I felt Liam’s fist smash into my jaw.

I fell to the floor, star­tled and in agony.

But be­fore I could get on my feet, Liam

whacked me again. He seized me by the throat, push­ing me onto the bed.

Pum­melling me with his fists, he gagged my screams by push­ing a pil­low into my mouth.

I’m go­ing to die, I thought, strug­gling in ter­ror.

I had to do some­thing. Some­how, I man­aged to pull my face from the pil­low and a sur­vival in­stinct kicked in.

‘Please, we can be to­gether,’ I sobbed. ‘I love you, please, let me call you a taxi and I won’t tell any­one this hap­pened.’

He wouldn’t lis­ten. He just kept throt­tling and beat­ing me over and over.

I begged him to let me go – and fi­nally, two hours af­ter this or­deal had be­gun, he stopped.

Star­ing at me as I gasped for breath, Liam left the room, slam­ming the door be­hind him.

I ran into the bath­room and locked the door.

Look­ing at my­self in the mir­ror, I broke down.

I was un­recog­nis­able. Bruises cov­ered my face and blood was drip­ping onto the floor. My cheeks were swollen and red.

In shock, I fell to my knees, ev­ery inch of my body trem­bling in fear.

I sat in that bath­room for a whole hour, ter­ri­fied he’d come back.

But then, tak­ing a deep breath, I un­locked the bath­room door.

Mak­ing my way down the stairs of the ho­tel in si­lence, I ran straight to Re­cep­tion.

The re­cep­tion­ist gasped when he saw my face.

‘I’m call­ing an am­bu­lance,’ he said.

But when he was told there would be a wait, I got a taxi to hos­pi­tal in­stead.

Touch­ing my face, I’d never felt agony like it. How could Liam do this to me?

I was given an X-ray when I ar­rived at James Cook Hos­pi­tal, and doc­tors said I was lucky, had es­caped with just se­ri­ous bruis­ing.

Call­ing a friend, I was hys­ter­i­cal, de­scrib­ing what Liam had put me through.

Next, I rang 999 and asked for the po­lice.

I couldn’t let him get away with this.

I stayed at my friend’s house that night, was too scared Liam would turn up at my par­ents’, where I lived.

The po­lice came round the next day to take a state­ment.

De­scrib­ing ev­ery de­tail of the bru­tal at­tack, it felt as though I was talk­ing about some­one else.

It took five days be­fore Liam was caught and ar­rested.

I knew he was con­trol­ling and de­mand­ing...but vi­o­lent? It was such a shock.

But when of­fi­cers told me that this wasn’t the first time Liam had hurt a girl­friend,

I felt so stupid. How did I not see him for the thug he was? He’d been jailed in the past for at­tack­ing his ex girl­friend and hurl­ing a con­crete slab through her win­dow. I wish I’d known what a mon­ster I’d got my­self in­volved with. In May, at Teesside Crown Court, Liam Owen, 26, ad­mit­ted as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm and dam­ag­ing prop­erty – my iphone. He was sen­tenced to 16 months in prison.

It ter­ri­fies me that it won’t be long be­fore he’s free again to ruin some­one else’s life. That’s why I’m speak­ing out, to make sure no other woman goes through what me and his ex-girl­friend have suf­fered.

Since the at­tack, I have night­mares and flash­backs and barely ever get a full night’s sleep.

I thought, af­ter what hap­pened, I would never be able to have an­other re­la­tion­ship or trust an­other man again.

But, luck­ily, I’ve found my­self a de­cent boyfriend, who I know would never hurt me. Not all men are mon­sters like Liam Owen. I hope he gets his come­up­pance.

At first, we were both smit­ten...

Liam (right) rained blows down on me, left me bat­tered

Now I’m speak­ing up to warn other women

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