SABRINA feared she was about to die as her vicious partner raised a stereo speaker to smash down on her skull at the climax of a six-hour attack.
She recalls: “I screamed at him. I said, ‘Please stop, you’re going to kill me’. He said: ‘I don’t care, I don’t care, because I hate you.’
“I’ve never been so frightened and I honestly thought I was going to die. I thought he was going to kill me.
“I can’t even begin to explain what it felt like, it’s almost resigning yourself to the fact that, ‘This is it, you’re going to die, that’s it I’m going to die’.
“And then I got to the point when he was beating me that I just thought please let this be the last one so that it does kill me and it stops, I don’t want to feel it any more.”
Instead, Sabrina managed to dial 999 in the midst of the attack and then hide her mobile under her bed, hoping the emergency services would understand what was happening.
They did, and they raced to her rescue in the nick of time.
The gut-wrenching moment she was rescued by Thames Valley Police last year will be shown in a documentary about the abuse suffered by Sabrina and two other women at the hands of their violent partners.
Officers filmed themselves storming into her Oxfordshire home, on their body-worn cameras, which show Sabrina cowering next to a blood- spattered wall. She was left with the worst bruising cops had ever seen.
Sabrina who asked that her last name not be used, is convinced she would have been murdered that day.
The 32-year-old says: “If the police hadn’t come when they did, he would have done, he was still going then.” The film shows her taking cops around her Banbury home showing evidence of the attack, which had come after four years of mental and physical torture at the hands of boyfriend Paul Hopkins, 41.
She tells them: “This is where he’s had me on the bed and smashed my head in, that’s my blood there and there’s a hand print where I’ve tried to drag myself away.
“There’s a few spots of it on the bottom bit there, there’s blood all sprayed up the wall — there’s spots everywhere.”
Unemployed Hopkins later brazenly tried to tell cops he was just ‘cuddling’ her when they burst in, and insisted someone else had beaten her up.
He tells officers: “I never touched her, only to cuddle her not violently. She went out to meet a dealer in the night time because it was dark and came back in that state.
“Her face was really badly bruised and her nose was really badly bleeding.
“Her eyes, she couldn’t see out of one eye, it looks like he gave her a good hiding because she couldn’t pay him.”
Hopkins was initially charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, but when the Crown Prosecution Service decided it would not be able to secure that charge, it was downgraded to actual bodily harm.
Police said the yob was “well known” to them and prosecutors added it was “the worst case of ABH they had seen”.
Hopkins pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court and was sentenced to two years’ jail — despite the CPS having hoped to get the maximum five years.
He ended up serving just one year behind bars.
The documentary called Behind Closed Doors, which follows Sabrina’s story for 12 months, also explains the complicated emotional state of victims which can trap them in an abusive relationship.
Sabrina describes how she felt after seeing her attacker in court: “I thought I was going to hate him but I don’t. I still love him. My world turned upside down. Him not being here feels weird, I can’t get used to it and my mind still remembers the nice parts of him . . . it’s weird. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde.”
As is the case with many victims, Sabrina had retracted statements to police about abuse on “several occasions”, with the last time just four months before the attack that nearly killed her.
Two women are killed every week in the UK in England and Wales due to domestic abuse.
And police have revealed that half the victims will have suffered a shocking 50 incidents of abuse before they finally call 999.
Meanwhile domestic violence units told at the end of last year how they’re “overwhelmed” by the number of calls they receive from abused women.
Last summer, The Sun launched our Give Me Shelter campaign, calling for 32 women’s refuges that were closed down between 2010-2014 to be re-opened after a third of victims in 2014 were turned away because of lack of space.
The campaign has already succeeded in persuading Chancellor George Osborne to stump up an emergency £3.2million pot of cash for refuges struggling to stay open.
Detective Inspector Larry Johnston, of the Thames Valley Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, says: “With domestic abuse we do get to see the same people over and over again.
“With domestic abuse 42 per cent of victims will be a repeat victim.
“It means they will suffer another crime within a year of reporting that crime . . . they will be abused by that partner time and time again.”
- Behind Closed Doors will be broadcast on BBC1 at 9pm next Monday, March 14.
Transcript of terror
Sabrina phones 999 and throws phone under bed. Police listen to her call for two minutes as she begs Hopkins to end her horror.
SABRINA (screams): Stop it . . . Please . . . No . . . Please don’t . . .
HOPKINS (angry): If you love me you know the answer . . .
SABRINA: I can’t . . . No, baby, please . . .
Police trace call
POLICE DISPATCHER: Female, panicking on the phone . . .
Police arrive at house. Sabrina’s dog is heard whimpering. Sabrina struggles to catch her breath and police try to calm her down.
HOPKINS: I haven’t done anything wrong.
OFFICER: I’m arresting you on suspicion of assault, this woman’s got injuries that cannot be accounted for.
HOPKINS: Well it can be sorted out can’t it? I’ll go outside and stand outside, you can talk to her . . .
Next day, Sabrina takes the cameras through the house, revealing devastating damage of the six-hour attack.
SABRINA: This is where he’s had me on the bed and he’s smashed my face in, there’s all my blood there.
There’s a hand print there where I’ve tried to drag myself away from him.
There’s blood all up here, that’s all my blood sprayed up the wall. There’s spots everywhere really.