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Woman was saved from violent boyfriend thanks to Facebook Messenger

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Teenager threatened by her gun-wielding boyfriend managed to raise the alarm via social media

From SheKnows UK

A terrified teenager locked herself in the bathroom after her boyfriend pointed a gun at her during a violent outburst — and only managed to escape thanks to Facebook's messaging service.

More: Domestic violence victim shares injuries from vicious attack on Facebook

Amy Wilson, 18, barricaded herself in the bathroom after 19-year-old Joshua Knight threatened to kill her, reported The Metro. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun but Amy didn't know that at the time and described the incident as "horrifying."

Fortunately Amy had her phone in the bathroom with her but she was too scared to call the police in case Knight heard her talking. So she decided to upload pictures of herself and ask her Facebook friends for help.

The South Tyneside teenager sent friends two selfies to prove she was serious about the situation and used the GPS feature on her phone to provide her location, as she didn't know the address.

After her friends raised the alarm and contacted police Knight was arrested. He was later convicted of possessing a BB gun with the intention of causing fear of violence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that, when police arrived at the property, Amy was "hysterical, absolutely terrified, suffering from shock" and had vomited all over the bathroom.

Police officers found a range of weapons outside the bathroom door including the BB gun, a kitchen knife, a baseball bat and two hammers.

More: Stigma facing male domestic violence victims has to stop

According to prosecutor Anne Richardson, the altercation took place after the couple had been drinking alcohol and watching the film Sin City at Knight's home. After the film Knight's behaviour suddenly started to change and he threatened to hurt Amy. He then went upstairs, with Amy following to make sure he was OK.

"She got to the top of the stairs," Richardson said. "He was about two metres away, with what she thought was a gun. She thought it was real and it was pointing at her. She ran into the bathroom and locked the door. She dragged shelving against the door to barricade herself in. He started banging, saying if she came out he was going to kill her."

Judge Stephen Earl described Knight's behaviour as "bizarre" saying, "The fear that was felt by your then-partner in relation to that evening in question must have been horrifying."

Knight was sentenced to 16 months in jail, suspended for two years. The court also imposed rehabilitation requirements, £800 costs and a restraining order to stay away from Amy.

He was assessed as being low risk and is now receiving professional help.

More: Powerful ad highlights the devastating impact of domestic violence on kids

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