Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 14:48 UK

Family raced to reach stabbed Amy

By Mark McGregor
BBC News, Manchester

Amy Leigh Barnes
Amy had suffered months of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend

Amy Leigh Barnes made a frantic phone call to her mother minutes before Ricardo Morrison launched his horrific knife attack.

Having been locked in the home the couple shared in Farnworth, Bolton, Amy turned to Karyn Killiner in a desperate bid to escape before her boyfriend - who she had tried to break up with - returned.

"As soon as I got the phone call from Amy when she said, 'Will you come and get me?' I knew there was something wrong. I knew straight away," her mother said.

"The urgency in her voice. I could tell she was frightened because she started to cry. She kept saying, 'Will you come now Mum? Will you come now?' Over and over again.

"She told me that Ricardo Morrison had locked her in the house and taken all the keys."

Nobody should see that, not their little girl
Andrew Barnes, Amy's father

For Mrs Killiner, it was the moment she had feared since evidence of the 22-year-old's violent, controlling behaviour first began to emerge.

Despite Amy's best efforts to hide the physical abuse she had suffered, in the weeks before her death her mother became aware that her daughter was living in fear for her life.

Realising her daughter was in real trouble on that Saturday morning, Mrs Killiner rang Amy's father - Andrew Barnes - and told him to get to the house, before setting off in her own car.

Mr Barnes was aware of Morrison's controlling behaviour and knew his daughter was working up to getting him out of her life.

"I just thought, 'Well, I'll get her out then I'll work on stopping this situation', because I was getting to the end of my tether," he said.

Amy's mother raced to the hospital

But nothing prepared him for the sight that he encountered when he got to the house, which was owned by Amy's grandmother.

Mr Barnes found Amy lying in a heap and initially thought she had fallen down the stairs. The sickening realisation came when he saw the growing pool of blood beneath her.

"Walking through that door is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," he said.

"Thinking about it now, I can't do it - walk into my Mum's house - it just flashes up. Nobody should see that, not their little girl."

During the trial, Manchester Crown Court heard a recording of a 999 call in which Amy told the operator Morrison had stabbed her.

What he'd done to Amy's beautiful face, I knew was to completely disfigure her
Karyn Killiner, Amy's mother

Once help arrived, she was taken by ambulance to Royal Bolton Hospital as her mother - who had also dialled 999 - was on the phone to another operator, who told her to get to the hospital.

"As I was driving I could see the traffic lights changing to red and I heard the ambulance and I knew that it had my daughter in it," she said.

"I just sat there in the car thinking she's going to be OK, she's safe, they've got her, she's going to be OK.

"But at that moment I knew, by the speed the ambulance was going and the lights, it hit me. It really hit me and I think I knew then."

Mrs Killiner arrived at the hospital moments later, abandoned her car and ran towards the doors.

Andrew Barnes
Amy's father said he could not bear to think of the moment he found Amy

But as she approached she was met by the horrific sound of her daughter "screaming and screaming".

So severe were her injuries, staff were reticent to let Mrs Killiner in to see her, but were convinced by a detective.

Mrs Killiner thought her daughter's screams - and the fact she was conscious - was a good sign, but nothing could prepare her for the sight of her "absolutely horrific" injuries.

"What he'd done to Amy's beautiful face, I knew was to completely disfigure her. It was such a personal attack to Amy, and to me," she said.

"Just before they sedated Amy she screamed - and I knew it was the last thing she said - she screamed 'I want to die'. And I knew that's what she wanted because I knew she couldn't live. She couldn't take any more."

Amy was pronounced dead a few hours later. She had suffered multiple stab wounds to her chest, back and face.



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