In a harrowing plea to her boyfriend, Kirby Weegram, 22, begged her boyfriend Johnathan Graham to stop beating her as he continued to strangle her in a terrifying assault case.
Convinced that she wasn't going out alive from his apartment, Kirby even pleaded with Graham, 32, to let her write a farewell letter to her family.
Kirby Weegram, from Hartlepool, County Durham, was assaulted by Jonathan Graham, who almost killed her with a plank of wood, and while at it, even uttered the words: "I'm going to kill you tonight."
Barely escaping alive from the attack, she is now using the harrowing incident as a medium to propagate about Clare's law that could help women across England and Wales to protect themselves from criminals.
In Kirby's opinion, if she had used the Clare Law before getting into a relationship with Graham, she could have gotten insight into her boyfriend's past which was riddled with previous convictions for violence against women.
"I used Clare's Law after Jonathan had attacked me as I was curious to see if he had any previous convictions," she explained.
Using that knowledge, Kirby stated that she could have left him before he almost killed her that fateful night.
"I found out that he had previous convictions for violence against women. I only wished I had done this sooner because I would have left him straight away," she said, as reported by Daily Mail.
The attack left Kirby with bruises on every part of her body after Graham assaulted her viciously and strangled her in his apartment on August 19 last year.
Now, she’s on a mission to spread awareness about domestic violence and how women can make use of the Clare's Law to safeguard their lives and protect themselves from getting into dangerous relationships before it is too late.
"I want to warn other women to use Clare’s Law if they have any doubts about a partner," Kirby added.
For the unknowing, under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, Clare’s Law was enacted in the memory of 36-year-old Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, George Appleton, in Salford 2009.
The law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner could pose a risk to them. The legislation also allows members of the public to make inquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member. In Clare Wood's case, George had a history of charges levied against him for violence against women.
Delving further into how their relationship was, Kirby revealed that Graham was charming at first and he had her convinced that rumors about his behavior were baseless and false. But few weeks into the relationship, when an argument first erupted between the two, Kirby described how Graham instantly changed like ‘like Jekyll and Hyde’.
Graham's behavior left her vexed and in order to keep away from his temper, Kirby, a carer, started taking night shifts to stay away from him.
On the night of the attack, Kirby had encountered Graham on a night out and the couple argued before heading back to his flat.
"When we got in, I went straight into the toilet and he followed me in and punched me in the side of the head. I fell to the ground and he started kicking and punching me. I tried to escape into the bedroom but he followed me and pushed me onto the bed and tried to suffocate me under the duvet. He strangled me about six or seven times," she recalled.
"He said 'you are never leaving this flat, I’m going to kill you tonight.'"
Revealing further into what happened that night, she said: "He spat and me and threw things at me. I genuinely thought that I was going to die. He told me ‘you should be lucky that I’m not a sexual deviant or I would rape you’"
Shockingly, he then bit into a wine glass and started nibbling the glass shard while telling his terrified victim ‘this is how indestructible I am’ and later told her that he was going to kill himself and frame her for his murder.
Kirby begged Graham to let her leave for her shift. But he followed her as she walked home barefoot covered in blood, begging her to give him half an hour, which gave her some time to reach out to the police.
Kirby suffered injuries and bruises all over her body, with two black eyes, a crooked nose and a hemorrhage in her left eye caused due to strangulation.
During the trial held at Teesside Crown Court, Graham, of Lewis Grove, Hartlepool, admitted to assault and causing occasional bodily injuries and issuing threats to kill. He was awarded a jail term of 21 months.
Despite the trial and the punishment being awarded, Kirby explained how the damage caused by abusive partners like him; is more mental than physical which can leave anyone scarred for life.
"In domestic abuse cases the psychological damage is often undermined by the physical damage – but it is the psychological abuse that will stay in your mind," she said, as per a report published in the Metro.
Cut to 2018, Kirby is now using her experiences to make womenfolk aware about how the Clare's law functions.
"I would absolutely encourage any woman who even hears a rumor about their partner to get in touch with Clare’s Law – if I’d done this then I would never have been in the position that I was. It could literally save a life. I was distraught he wasn’t jailed for longer, ideally I wanted him to be away for life but I know that is unrealistic," she said.
However, Kirby thinks that the case is far from over.
"I don’t hate him, I genuinely want him to get rehabilitation because he is so damaged. I worry that once he is released he will strike again and I want to warn other women what he is capable of," she opined.
If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org