CHLOE Campbell claimed it was ‘love at first sight’ when she met Billy Walsh.
But she would soon find out that he was a jealous, violent thug who became "obsessed" with the idea that Chloe had cheated.
Eventually, Billy exposed her to a six-hour ordeal during which he tied her to their bed, pulled her hair, poured a drink over her, strangled her, hit her, bit down on her nose until it shattered in his jaw and smashed her cheekbone with his fist before dousing her in lighter fluid and threatening to set her alight.
Now, in a bid to save other young women from perpetrators of domestic violence, Chloe, 20, from Manchester, bravely shares her story with Fabulous Digital.
The first time I was introduced to Billy Walsh it was love at first sight - but I couldn’t do a thing about it.
I had been introduced to Billy by my then-boyfriend, who was Billy's cousin.
But, a few months later, when single, we bumped into one another.
And when Billy asked if he could take me out later that night, I didn't hesitate to say yes.
But, unsurprisingly, my friends and family didn't approve of our relationship. I was just 17, and he was much older than me at 28.
But I was happy and, for the first time in my life, I felt secure.
Every night, I'd sneak out of my family's house to meet Billy at his mum's.
We planned a whole lifetime together. He told me: "I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Shortly after I turned 18, Billy managed to secure a place of his own and I quickly moved in with him.
But from the moment I moved in, Billy began to manipulate me. He'd snatch my phone out of my hands, deleting the contact details of friends, telling me: "I'm the only one you need now, it's just you and me."
He even stopped me from speaking to my family, paranoid we were talking about him.
In time, Billy began drinking heavily and whenever he was intoxicated, he would sniff gas, too.
The substance abuse turned him into a monster, and I feared the person he became when he was under the influence. But when I begged him to slow down, he'd fly into a fit of rage. "You're a stupid s***," he'd scream, shoving me out of his way.
Yet, when Billy finally sobered up, he was the perfect partner all over again.
In time, Billy introduced me to a friend of his, Jack, and we immediately hit it off.
I thought Billy would be thrilled that we got along so well. But instead, our friendship sent him into a dark pit of jealousy.
One night, after drinking, he said: "I know you're sleeping with Jack."
I was horrified and told him he was wrong: "You're the only one I want," I said.
But it was hopeless. "You're a f***ing dirty s***, you're a liar," he yelled.
And as I stood trembling with fright, he threw empty beer bottles at the floor, smashing them at my bare feet in his uncontrollable temper.
Then he slapped me hard across the face. I was heartbroken. I knew Billy could be snappy and unpredictable, but I never dreamt he'd ever lay a finger on me.
The next day, he was full of apologies.
But from that moment on, whenever Billy drank, he would abuse me. He'd tell me I deserved every slap, kick and punch for being "a dirty little s***"
If I dared to ask for mercy, it only made things worse. "I'm in charge in this relationship," he'd roar. "I stop when I'm ready to stop, you will earn your crown."
Then, one day, I was feeling particularly low when, out of the blue, I received a text message from Jack.
He said: "I know Billy gives you a hard time, would you like to meet me in Blackpool?"
I knew Billy would be furious, but in that moment, I simply didn't care.
When I returned home later, I had never seen Billy so angry.
He immediately flew at me, asking: "You had sex with him, didn't you?" before wrapping his hands around my throat and squeezing hard.
When I regained consciousness, Billy was standing over me. As he swung his fist at my eye socket, he laughed and said: "You really are a worthless w****.
"One of these days, I'm going to set you on fire."
Where can you get help?
From that moment, I knew Billy had total control of my life.
And haunted by his threat to set me alight, I decided to remove the flints from every lighter Billy kept in the house.
As New Year's Eve approached Billy accused me again of sleeping with Jack. "You're a filthy rat, I know you slept with Jack," he said, picking up a games controller and smashing it into my face.
Clawing a handful of my hair in his fist, Billy dragged me up the stairs.
As he dragged me along, he kept chanting: "You're going to pay.
In the bedroom, Billy forced me down onto our bed, tying my hands together.
Then, opening his mouth wide, he bit down on my nose until it shattered between
From that moment, I knew Billy had total control of my life. He had cut me off from everybody I loved and now, I'd become petrified of how far he would go to keep me under his spell.Chloe Campbell
his jaws. The pain was unlike anything I had ever felt in my life.
Billy swung his fist at my face, smashing my cheekbone.
Grabbing hold of his open can of cider, Billy threw its contents over me before kicking me hard in the stomach. I felt my ribs crunch. Then: "I'm going to set you on fire and watch you burn," before dousing me in lighter fluid.
As he reached for a lighter, I closed my eyes tightly. I remember thinking this is it, this is how I die. But, as I screamed for help, I suddenly remembered I'd removed the flints.
For a moment I was flooded with relief. But furious that he was unable to fulfil his twisted vow, Billy continued his brutal assault.
For six hours, he held me prisoner, beating me in any way he could.
Eventually, Billy passed out drunk. As I lay trembling, blood-soaked and terrified, I knew enough was enough.
When we went to visit a friend of Billy's later that day, when he’d finally sobered up, I saw my opportunity. As we left the friend’s house to walk home, I put my headphones in, pretending to listen to music.
But as Billy walked slightly ahead, I secretly called the police and told them: "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."
In response, the call handler asked me what I was wearing.
Thinking on my feet I caught up with Billy and said: "This is a nice black jacket, isn't it? Do you think the bobble will detach from my hat so that I can wash it, or do you think it would leave black bits all over everything else?"
Proud that I'd described my attire without giving anything away, I suddenly felt more confident. I just needed to direct them to our house, and I'd finally be free of Billy.
For six hours, he held me prisoner, beating me in any way he could.Chloe Campbell
Turning to him once more, I asked: "Shall we walk home past Dunelm Mill, then past the fire station and up onto our road?" Billy agreed to my route, completely unaware that he was walking into a trap, and I hoped the limited directions I'd been able to provide would be enough.
They were - police pulled up and arrested Billy.
In October 2018, William "Billy" Walsh, 30, appeared at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court. There, he admitted engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for three years.
Describing him as a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character, Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: “You behaved in a controlling and coercive way towards her because you were jealous."
I had never trusted anybody before him, and because of his actions I will always struggle to trust people in the future.
Love doesn’t hurt and if somebody tells you they love you, but can hurt you in so many ways, please walk away – whilst you still can.
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