Facebook removes Hollie Gazzard photos with her killer

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Hollie GazzardImage source, Gazzard family
Image caption,
Hollie Gazzard's ex-boyfriend Asher Maslin was jailed for life for murdering her

Photographs of a murdered woman posing with her killer ex-boyfriend have been removed from Facebook after a campaign by her family.

Pictures of Hollie Gazzard with Asher Maslin, who stabbed her 14 times in February last year, were still viewable on Miss Gazzard's Facebook profile.

Her father Nick Gazzard said the images were causing distress but earlier attempts to have them removed failed.

Facebook said the pictures were removed because of a copyright claim.

"Through our memorialisation policies we aim to help families find ways to remember and celebrate their loved ones on Facebook whilst respecting the privacy of the deceased," the social media website said.

"In this case we received a report of copyright infringement, and we removed the reported content in response to that report."

'Sincere thanks'

Mr Gazzard posted a message on Facebook saying: "We are delighted to confirm that today, Facebook have removed the offending photos from Hollie's memorialised Facebook account and now we can all browse her photos without getting upset.

"We would like to express our sincere thanks to the 11,000+ who kindly signed our petition and those who also contacted Facebook direct and asked for photos to be taken down."

Facebook had previously told the BBC it was unable to help in this circumstance.

According to the social media website, its policy is that when a profile is memorialised following someone's death, changes are not able to be made.

Hollie Gazzard, 20, was stabbed while working at Fringe Benefits and La Bella Beauty salon in Gloucester. She later died in hospital.

Five months after her murder, Maslin was sentenced to life in prison for carrying out the attack.

'Pleasantly surprised'

Of the nine images, most were only viewable by those who were Facebook "friends" with Holly before her death.

Mr Gazzard said: "We were very pleasantly surprised and humbled by the amount of support we received."

He said Hollie had been very active on Facebook and had posted more than 1,000 photos, including pictures of her with Maslin when he was her boyfriend.

"She didn't get the opportunity to delete the pictures before he murdered her," he said.

Mr Gazzard said Hollie's family and friends would now be able to look at photos on the memorialised account and "remember the happy times they shared" with Hollie.

He said he understood why Facebook would lock and memorialise the accounts of deceased people to "preserve their privacy", but suggested it could ask next-of kin if there was anything that should be changed first.

"Particularly in a domestic abuse situation, that's what I hope would happen," he said. He believed Facebook would now deal with similar situations "case by case", rather than change its policy.

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