Intruder in my bed
A teenager broke in and savagely attacked me as I slept in bed
Excited, I packed all my things into boxes.
‘I’ll miss you,’ my mum Melanie, 44, said to me with a sigh. It was May 2016, and I’d just got my own flat. ‘I’m not going far,’ I smiled. At 20, I’d been working hard as a sales assistant.
I’d miss mum, too, but she was happy for me, helping me to decorate my new place.
I loved my independence, working hard, having fun – and often had mates staying over.
One night in July 2017, a few of us went to a pub quiz. At 11pm, my friend dropped me home.
I ran up the stairs, turned on the kitchen light and waved from the window to let her know everything was OK.
Putting on my pyjamas and switching on the TV, I snuggled up bed. By 11.30pm, I’d fallen asleep.
An hour later, I woke with a start. Something sharp was digging into my throat, tightening around my neck.
Was it a nightmare?
No, I could feel a male body pressing up against me.
I froze with fear, choking, unable to breathe. I felt his hot breath in my ear. Then I blacked out. When I came round, I was struggling to breathe, lying on the floor with him still on top of me – raping me.
Horrified, I tried to push him off, but he held down my hands and arms. I kicked out with my bare feet, but he wouldn’t stop.
In the darkness, I couldn’t see his face and, eventually, he got up and walked out.
Lying on the floor, I was paralysed with fear. I could hear him in my kitchen, rattling around in the cupboards.
He’s looking for a knife,
I thought, petrified. I had to act now to save my life.
Adrenalin pumping, I managed to pull myself up and grabbed my phone from the bedside table. I could barely stop my hands shaking to dial 999.
‘Please!’ I sobbed. ‘He’s going to kill me!’
The operator took my name and address but then, to my horror, my attacker crept back in.
Dressed in grey sweatpants and hoodie, wearing trainers, he didn’t look at me as I stood there shaking.
He started kicking the duvet, looking around the floor. I was terrified he’d come back to kill me.
But suddenly, he found what he was looking for – a piece of cable he’d used to choke me.
He grabbed it and then fled. I heard him open my kitchen window and jump out, landing on the flat roof below.
I realised he must’ve stood on the wheelie bin to climb the 10ft up.
I’d left the window ajar because it’d been hot. I’d had no idea that anyone could open it from the outside.
I lay on my bed in shock, clutching my phone.
Minutes later, the police were banging on my front door.
‘Anyone there?’ an officer called out – but I was too scared to move.
Eventually, the police kicked down the door and a female officer waited with me, while officers searched the flat.
‘He’s gone now,’ she reassured me.
They took me to my mum’s.
‘What happened?’ she cried.
I broke down, just couldn’t speak. The officers told Mum everything.
Distraught, she tried to hug me, but I flinched.
I couldn’t stand being touched by anyone, even Mum.
I had DNA swabs taken and made a statement. Then the police drove me to hospital.
It was only then that I realised how much pain I was in.
Battered and bruised, my mouth was swollen and the blood vessels in both of my eyes had burst.
I had two black eyes, could barely swallow.
The police launched a manhunt for my attacker.
I stayed at Mum’s, knowing that I could never live in my flat again.
A week later, the police had shocking news.
‘We’ve arrested and charged a teenager,’ said the officer. ‘He’s 16.’ I was stunned, humiliated. ‘A kid did this to me?’ I cried. The police said that he’d been watching my flat for days
A probation report said he had a ‘troubled’ life...
before he pounced on me.
His saliva was found on my pyjamas.
Last September, at Newcastle Crown Court, my attacker pleaded guilty to rape.
A probation report said he had a ‘troubled’ life, while a psychiatric report said he had a borderline personality disorder.
But I had no sympathy for him. A lot of people have problems – but they don’t do what he did.
Plus he already had previous convictions for battery and exposing himself.
He was sentenced to five and a half years in prison, plus an extra two years on licence, later extended to five. But the judge ruled he shouldn’t be named publicly because of his age. I was disgusted. I’m still traumatised and struggling to cope with my terrifying ordeal. I’ve been having counselling through The Reach Centre in Newcastle and Rape Crisis. I’ll have to deal with what happened that night for the rest of my life. Yet he gets to remain anonymous? ‘It’s not right,’ I sobbed to Mum. The courts shouldn’t protect a rapist, no matter what his age. He committed a man’s crime and should be treated like a grown man. There’s nothing shameful about being raped – victims should feel able speak out. My attacker should be ashamed, though – and he deserves to be named. Everyone should know what kind of monster he is.
Injuries to my neck… …and eyes
Traumatised I feel so strongly, have to speak out