A WOMAN from Leigh claims she was held in an American prison for three days and shown an electric chair after she tried to visit her boyfriend.

Sophie Frampton, 30, told the Times she was handcuffed, strip searched and held without her migraine medication in a jail in Austin, Texas.

Ms Frampton said she had met her boyfriend, 25-year-old American Zaid Khayat, on holiday in Thailand in May, 2017.

She first visited him in the US in August that year before going again in November 2017 and January 2018.

But it was only in June last year that there was a problem.

Immigration officials raised concerns over a visa application she made after her first visit when she wrongly thought that her Esta permit was for single entry use only.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) actually allows you to stay in the US for up to 90 days without needing a visa and is valid for multiple trips over two years.

Her visa application was unsuccessful because she did not have a job in Britain where she was returning to.

She then realised she could reuse her Esta instead.

The authorities were also concerned that she put an Australian address on her Esta as she was backpacking when she applied for it at the time.

Ms Frampton, who says she cried for three days, claims she was handcuffed and driven to jail, told to strip and kept in a cell without amitriptyline – her migraine medicine.

The Times reported that she was shown an electric chair in prison and was unable to use the toilet in her cell for the three days she was remanded.

The guards woke her at 4am and checked on her every 15 minutes meaning she was unable to use the toilet in privacy.

She has met her boyfriend in Canada and the UK since her ordeal.

The news came as Foreign Office figures show the number of Britons arrested at US airports has increased every year since 2014 when there were 185.

A breakdown of the figures show the highest number of immigration arrests are in Los Angeles and Houston.

The rate has accelerated since Donald Trump, who is visiting the UK this week, took office.

The Times say in the first four months of this year British consulates have recorded 103 immigration-related arrests.

Ms Frampton’s arrest was one of 315 immigration arrests reported to British consulates in America in 2018.