At Hands of My ‘Mate’
Megan Jordan, 17, Hertfordshire
Glancing in the mirror, I applied a coat of mascara and some pink lip gloss. A typical 16-year-old, I loved doing my make-up.
As I pulled my hair into a ponytail, my mobile phone beeped. It was a text from my friend Djos Lombo, 21.
Meet me in an hour, it read. Djos had been dating one of my friends for a few months, often walked me to her house to make sure I got there safely. So sweet!
An hour later, in the early evening, I texted my mum Linda, 52, at work, telling her I was going out.
As usual, Djos was waiting down the road for me. But, instead of walking to his girlfriend’s as planned, he asked me to walk across the field next to my house.
It was getting dark, but presuming he just wanted a cigarette, I followed.
‘Let’s go down here,’ he said, pointing to a patch of wasteland hidden from the roadside.
Following the path, he turned to me with a eerie, blank look.
‘Do the police come here?’ he asked. ‘Are there any cameras?’ Suddenly, I felt on edge. ‘Why?’ I giggled nervously. ‘Are you going to kill me?’
What the hell?
Djos started to laugh.
But something didn’t seem right, so I turned around, started walking quickly back towards the entrance.
Suddenly, I felt a hand shove me forcefully in the back, and I fell to the ground, landing with a thump.
Jumping up, I brushed thorns off my jacket. My heart was pounding with fear.
What the hell was Djos doing? As I went to run, he grabbed me in violent bear hug, his grip tightening around my waist. ‘No!’ I cried, fighting back. But then he clamped his hand over my mouth.
‘If you scream, I will kill you,’ he snarled. Panicking, I burst into tears. The place was deserted – there was no-one around who could help me.
Although we were only a short distance from my house, we were hidden from view and too far off to be heard.
Djos dragged me towards a section of secluded grass.
Moments later, he unbuttoned my jeans, and thrust his hand into my underwear, groping me.
Then he unzipped his jeans. And, disgustingly, he forced me to perform oral sex.
I wept, hating every torturous second of it.
When it was over, I struggled to my feet and made a run for it. But Djos grabbed my jacket, pulling me backwards. ‘Please, just stop,’ I sobbed. I’d trusted him, thought he was my friend. But Djos ignored my pleas and wrapped his arm tightly around my throat.
‘You’d better not tell anyone,’ he hissed into my ear.
Kicking, I struggled to escape, but he squeezed harder.
I was gasping for air when everything went black...
Next thing I knew, I woke up in a bush, wearing just
my bra and jeans.
Djos had left me for dead – but I was still alive.
My body throbbing with pain, I desperately felt for my phone. It was gone, along with my jumper and jacket, but I still had my house keys.
Slowly, I climbed to my feet and stumbled home.
Shaking, it took me several attempts to get my key into the lock.
Only an hour or so had passed since I’d left the house.
Inside, I collapsed into a ball on the sofa and sobbed.
An hour later, Mum came home, and was shocked to see the state I was in.
‘What’s wrong?’ she said, obviously concerned.
As I told her what’d happened, she burst into tears.
‘I should’ve been there to protect you,’ she said, putting her arms around me.
Mum called the police – and, half an hour later, an officer arrived and took my statement. Then I was taken to North Middlesex University Hospital for tests and swabs.
At the hospital, doctors worried I’d suffered brain damage as I’d been unconscious for so long.
My neck was badly bruised and swollen where Djos had strangled me.
When they told me I was lucky to have woken up at all, the grim reality sank in.
He tried to kill me, I realised. Luckily, tests confirmed I wasn’t brain damaged.
Head held high
Officers hunted Djos, but he’d gone on the run. And I knew I wouldn’t rest easy until he’d been caught.
‘I’m scared, Mum,’ I sobbed. Thankfully, five days later, in November last year, officers tracked down Djos in Basildon, Essex, where they arrested and remanded him.
Meanwhile, I was suffering from the after-effects of the attack. I barely left the house, and was off school for a month.
I just couldn’t face going out, paranoid I’d be attacked again.
My bubbly personality disappeared and, instead, I became a nervous wreck. But friends rallied around, always visiting so I wasn’t left alone.
In June, Djos Lombo, 21, appeared at St Albans Crown Court, charged with rape, attempted murder, sexual assault and making a threat to kill.
He denied the charges, which meant I had to give evidence in front of a jury.
I was terrified, but I held my head high, determined to get justice.
I wanted to show Lombo that, no matter what, I was stronger than him.
After giving my evidence, I left the court.
When my case officer called me later to give me the verdict, I sobbed with relief.
Djos Lombo was jailed for 21 years with a five-year extended licence.
I still suffer nightmares and flashbacks from the attack, but I’ve got to move on.
Mum’s been my rock, and she’s helping me through.
It’s going to take time, and I’ll never forget what Lombo did to me.
I thought he was my mate, yet he assaulted me and left me for dead.
He’s nothing but a monster.
At the hospital, doctors worried I had brain damage
i was JUST a Typical Teenager