Terri-Louise Graham was punched, kicked and raped... by a man who said he loved her
The relationship that Terri-Louise Graham had with Greg Logue began with caring words and compliments, but it ended with her screaming to police officers battering at the door for help to stop the punches, kicks, bites and sexual assaults she had endured in a six-hour beating.
July 12, 2011 was the final time Logue carried out a sadistic attack on the woman he professed to love, adore and couldn't live without, but it was certainly not the first time he had unleashed the evil within him and left her bruised, bloody and terrorised.
Terri-Louise (30) first met Greg Logue when she was 17 and living in the Waterside area of Londonderry.
The pair dated for a short time when she was 19, but it was when they rekindled their relationship six years later that her life changed to such an extent that she now feels the her very essence has been stolen.
She spoke out so that other women who truly know at first hand what she endured can draw the strength needed to get out and get help.
She recalled: "I went out with him briefly when I was 19 but met up with him again when I was 24.
"He was very loving, very complimentary; all the good things you expect in the beginning. He made me feel very important to him.
"He sort of came here and he never really left. It wasn't like I asked him to move in, it just sort of evolved.
"He was always telling me I was beautiful and although I did see his temper in the early days it was never aimed at me, so I felt safe. In fact I thought he would do anything to protect me."
She said the facade soon cracked and the real monster emerged.
"The first time he turned on me was when I was three months pregnant with our child and it was as we walked home from his sister's house.
"It was the first beating I ever got in my life so I couldn't think straight. I just couldn't take in what was happening.
"Suddenly he was dragging me down the street, punching me, and there was blood all over my face.
"Every time a car went past he would pull me into him so that no one could see my face and it looked like he was giving me a hug.
"That went on the whole way back to the house.
"It was so weird, it was so scary, the fact that this was happening in the street to me.
"You can't really understand why. I still don't.
"He used to tell me I was the one true love of his life but yet he could do that and I couldn't know why. It was so confusing.
"Of course the next day he was racked with remorse, very apologetic, crying and blaming the drink."
In fact, after this first attack there was an extended period of calm within the house, but as Terri-Louise now reflects: "He must have gotten fed up playing the good guy."
By the time she was pregnant with their second child, Logue could no longer contain the monster that he really was and unleashed his savagery upon her on an escalated level almost every chance he got.
Terri-Louise continued: "I do not know how I carried my youngest child.
"The beatings became so regular. It was more than beatings; it was the name-calling, the rapes.
"It started when he was drinking but in the end I was getting battered every day – drunk, sober, in the house, in the car, in the street.
"There was no end to the degradation he would inflict on me.
"As well as the beating, he degraded me sexually as well, I was raped so many times and in so many places. Once he even held me over some railings, pulled down my trousers and sexually assaulted me as we walked home at 2am.
"He knew I would cover for him because I did.
"I lied to cover for him, told people I walked into doors, fell.
"He stripped everything from me.
"It took all that was me from me, but that last time I am convinced he was determined to kill me.
"We were out at a party and that's where he started on me.
"He smashed a bottle of vodka over my head and then dragged me outside.
"He threatened to kill my friend if she called the police.
"He dragged me into bushes, punching and kicking me and ripped my dress right down and tore my underwear off me.
"He sexually assaulted me in the middle of all the battering until I was bruised inside and out. This went on and on the whole way home.
"He gave me his shirt because I was practically naked but he kept on beating me.
"This went on for hours and by this time it was getting light and vans and cars were on the roads.
"They were bound to have seen me and the state I was in, wearing only a shirt and the blood running from me, but no one stopped, and no one even called the police to tell them where I was.
"My friend did call the police repeatedly but because he had dragged me into the bushes, the police couldn't find me and when they went to the house I wasn't there.
"We arrived back at the house and I remember asking him if I could go to the toilet. He looked at me shocked and asked, 'what kind of a monster do you think I am?'
"I ran upstairs and was on the toilet when he burst through the door and started battering me all over again.
"He dragged me into the bedroom and I know I kept passing out and coming around again, but he just kept kicking and punching me and it was then that it dawned on me that this time he was not ever going to stop.
"I stopped trying to protect myself and just thought, it is over, I will never see my children again, and that made me so, so sad."
Thankfully, her friend did not give up on her and called the police asking them to check the house again, which they did.
Terri-Louise added: "I came around to him in a whole panic because the police were at the door.
"He said to me 'baby, baby, the police are at the door, we have to get our story straight'.
"I knew it was the only chance I would get so I screamed at top of my voice, 'help me' and I managed to get past him, but he had a knife in his hand and was shouting 'I am going to kill you, I am going to f**king kill you'.
"I ran straight into the arms of a policewoman but I could barely even see out of my eyes.
"They were shouting, 'where is he?' but he actually escaped out the back.
"He was missing for maybe 11 days or more, which meant that while I was in hospital I was terrified that every shadow I saw it would be him. But he eventually handed himself in he was taken to court and jailed.
"I feel I'm still in a prison of fear but it's a million times better than what my life was like with that animal, so I have hope that one day I will be able to breathe easy.
"What does help is the thought that my story might help even one other woman to take even a wee chance if she gets it and get out."