Raped on CCTV in The Station Car Park
Assaulted by stranger at train station Good Samaritan rescued me Trying to move on
Picking up my phone, I quickly messaged my mum and sister. Fancy a drink? I asked. Within minutes, we’d decided to meet in the local pub. I was pleased.
It was 3 October 2015, my daughter’s fourth birthday – only I hadn’t spent the day helping her unwrap presents.
Sadly, following a nasty split with her dad, he’d got custody.
Not a day went by when I didn’t miss her terribly. Eventually, I’d met someone. Only his charming armour soon slipped, and he became controlling and aggressive.
Then he turned violent. A kick here, a punch there...
Terrified, I did what I could to keep the peace. But the verbal and physical abuse eroded my confidence. Then, one night, I snapped. Enough!
After reporting my abusive ex, he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, was jailed for 18 months.
Although relieved, I was haunted by the attacks.
Counselling helped, but my once-bubbly personality had vanished. Apart from my closest family, I cut myself off.
A night out
So when my mum Julie and sister Stacey agreed to a night out, I jumped at the chance.
I needed some company – the pain of not seeing my little girl on her birthday was too much.
Half an hour later, I was in the pub.
We had a couple of drinks, and I had a few games of pool.
A couple of hours later, around 9.30pm, I decided to call it a night.
But as I left the pub, everything started to feel hazy.
I hadn’t drunk a lot, yet I felt drowsy.
Then everything went blank.
The next thing, I was sitting in a room with a police officer.
‘What’s happened?’ I asked, panic rising.
The officer’s face looked grave. He explained that I’d been attacked and was in a police station.
‘No!’ I gasped. I began to shake all over. ‘We believe you may have been assaulted,’ the officer added gently.
As I started to calm down, I realised my whole body ached.
‘Did you consent to having sex with a man tonight?’ the officer asked.
‘What?!’ The words spun around my head. ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Yes,’ he nodded. I desperately tried to remember. But all I could recall was leaving the pub.
Confused, I told myself there
I felt drowsy. Then everything went blank...
must have been a mistake.
But as the officer stood me up, he explained he’d take me home and come round the following day.
‘Try not to have a wash or a bath,’ he told me.
My head was pounding and my eyes were beginning to droop again as he drove me to Mum’s.
When Stacey answered, she looked as confused as me.
After the policeman had explained, she led me to the couch.
I tried to tell Stacey I was OK, but I struggled to stay awake.
She held my hand as I dozed off.
The following morning, another police officer visited. She explained I needed to go with her to a specialist centre to give a statement and be examined.
That’s when the enormity of it hit me. I’d been attacked, and someone had violated me in the worst possible way.
Yet I’d no recollection of it. I listened as the officer explained they had CCTV footage showing a man forcing himself on me in the car park of Spondon railway station.
A witness had also come forward. Despite being in a wheelchair, she’d tried to drag my attacker off me, helped me get dressed and called the police.
Stunned, I tried to make sense of it all.
‘Why can’t I remember?’ I asked myself over and over.
I’d only had a few drinks – not enough to knock me out.
Had my drink been spiked?
After I was examined, the doctor prescribed medication in case the man who’d sexually assaulted me was HIV positive.
I was horrified. It felt like my world was collapsing.
Two days later, the police called to say a man called Brian Henry had been arrested on suspicion of rape.
It was all too much. Desperate to block it all out, I started drinking heavily. But, no matter how hard I tried, terrible images flooded my mind. I couldn’t sleep, was scared to leave the house.
One night, I took an overdose at Mum’s.
Mum must’ve called an ambulance. I awoke in hospital. ‘Don’t let him win,’ Mum said. A doctor told me I could go into a rehabilitation clinic to get the help I needed. Not sure what else to do, I agreed.
Thankfully, the counselling helped. But I was still anxious and struggled to go out alone.
Finally, at Derby Crown Court, in January last year, Brian Henry, 30, admitted rape.
CCTV revealed Henry talking to me before forcing himself on me.
Immediately after, a woman in a wheelchair approached. ‘Do you want this?’ she asked. ‘No,’ I said.
Worried, she called the police. The court heard Henry had numerous convictions and court appearances, although none for anything related to rape or sexual assault.
At the time of the offence, he’d been released from prison on licence just days before, for harassment.
Henry was jailed for six and a half years.
And the witness was awarded £500 for her bravery. It gave me closure and, slowly, with intense counselling, I started to feel better.
I’ve since met a new partner, and life is beginning to feel much kinder.
What that man did to me was horrendous. I’ll never truly get over it, especially as it was on my daughter’s birthday.
But I won’t let Henry ruin the rest of my life.
He won’t beat me.
Terrible images flooded my mind. I couldn’t sleep
It happened at the train station
With my sister Stacey
I told myself It was all an awful mistake