Forced to star in sick sex tape with Mum’s fella

I was vi­o­lated over and over and I didn’t even know it

Chat - - Contents - Me­gan Lav­i­gne, 22, War­ring­ton

I couldn’t shake the feel­ing there was more to my story...

Busy with friends and school, life was a blur of dead­lines and nights out.

Like most other 17-year-olds, I was de­ter­mined to have a good time.

Liv­ing at home with my mum, I felt bad about leav­ing her alone. So when she got a boyfriend, I was pleased. But not for long. Af­ter Michael moved in, in Novem­ber 2014, Mum seemed happy – but soon, I couldn’t say the same.

A lo­cal DJ, Michael worked all night and slept all day.

Known as Bear to his mates, he strut­ted around like he owned the place.

‘Get out of my chair!’ he’d bark. Or tell me off for chang­ing the TV chan­nel.

‘He’s just hor­ri­ble,’ I groaned to my best mate Jamie.

‘Try and avoid him,’ he just shrugged.

So I kept quiet while Michael slept, made sure I was out by the time he woke up.

But our house wasn’t big – and when we did cross paths, I felt his eyes rake over me. Over my bum, legs...be­fore snaking up past my waist.

‘You’ve got nice big

boobs,’ he’d smile. Creep!

He made my skin crawl but I didn’t tell Mum. I knew she’d be dev­as­tated.

Time passed and I let Michael’s weird com­ments wash over me.

He had his kind mo­ments, too, tuck­ing a blan­ket over me on the sofa as I snoozed, or putting my phone on charge as I dozed off.

Then, in Jan­uary 2017, Jamie crashed at mine af­ter a night out.

We crammed into my bed and I drifted off, dead to the world.

Next morning, Jamie said, ‘Well, that was weird, wasn’t it? Why was he com­ing in here, any­way?’

‘Who was com­ing in

where?’ I asked, con­fused.

I lis­tened, mouth flap­ping open, as Jamie told me how he’d caught Michael sneak­ing into my room at 4am.

He threat­ened to throw Jamie out, then apol­o­gised and told him to go back to sleep.

A heavy sleeper, I’d slept through the whole thing, and hear­ing it all now was a shock. What the hell was that about?

Maybe Michael had been feel­ing pro­tec­tive of me, find­ing a bloke in my bed.

He re­alised it was only Jamie then backed off,

I rea­soned. Time passed, then one morning, I was wo­ken up by my phone ring­ing. It was 7am. I scrab­bled around the bed­side ta­ble for my mo­bile, re­alised it was all the way at the foot of my bed. An­swered it just in time.

But when I hung up, the screen re­turned to an open e-mail in my Sent Items. Odd, I hardly used e-mail. As the mes­sage loaded, my blood froze like ice in my veins.

There were pho­tos of me, com­pletely naked. Ones I’d taken a year ear­lier in com­plete pri­vacy.

So what on earth were they do­ing in an e-mail to some­one?

Look­ing closer, I saw they’d gone to an e-mail with the words Bear Pit in the ad­dress.

Only one per­son I knew called him­self Bear, and he slept down the hall.

Shud­der­ing, I searched the e-mail ad­dress on Face­book.

Sure enough, a fa­mil­iar

pro­file popped up. Michael.

He must have sneaked in, sent them to him­self while I lay there sleep­ing.

Dis­gusted, I got dressed, packed a bag and rushed to Jamie’s.

I burst into tears as I ex­plained what I’d found.

‘You have to tell the po­lice,’ Jamie’s mum soothed.

Within hours, two of­fi­cers were tak­ing my state­ment.

They ar­rested Michael, but he was re­leased, pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

I couldn’t sleep un­der the same roof as him, so I went to the coun­cil, got my own flat.

I wanted to start over, but I was a shadow of my­self. Couldn’t shake the feel­ing there was more to my story.

It left me feel­ing fright­ened and de­pressed.

Then, in May 2017, the po­lice got back in touch. They’d found some­thing on Michael’s phone.

‘What is it?’ I said, al­most too scared to find out the an­swer.

‘I’m so sorry, but the video shows Michael as­sault­ing you,’ the of­fi­cer said.

And they needed me to con­firm it was me in the video. I felt sick, dizzy, an­gry. A few weeks on, with Jamie by my side, I braved it.

Star­ing at the screen­shots, I in­stantly knew it was me.

The mir­rors on my wardrobe, the pat­tern on the bed sheets.

And fi­nally, the dis­tinc­tive skull and roses tat­too on my left thigh. It had to be me.

There were other pho­tos, too – of Michael touch­ing me in­ti­mately.

They’d been blurred for my sake. But it was clear that Michael had sex­u­ally abused me and taken videos

as he did so. Vile.

Soon, Michael Brady, 41, ap­peared in court, ad­mit­ted sex­ual as­sault, voyeurism and caus­ing a com­puter to per­form a func­tion to se­cure unau­tho­rised ac­cess to se­cure data.

The court heard Brady likely abused me in my sleep 10 or 11 times.

He pleaded guilty, spar­ing me a trial. But I didn’t feel safe, was wor­ried he might come find me.

I couldn’t sleep, afraid to close my eyes.

Not only had Brady sex­u­ally as­saulted me and stolen my dig­nity, but he’d stolen my peace of mind, too. I didn’t feel safe in my own bed any more.

In Au­gust 2018, Brady was back at Liver­pool Crown Court. I stood up, made a state­ment. It took all my strength to say, ‘I don’t un­der­stand why he’s done this. I don’t think the per­son I once was will ever come back. I’m lost and bro­ken.’

Brady was sen­tenced to four years in jail, made to sign an in­def­i­nite re­strain­ing or­der stop­ping him from con­tact­ing me.

I was pleased, but a sen­tence wasn’t enough to make all the pain go away.

My re­la­tion­ship with Mum is strained, and I don’t know if it’ll ever re­cover.

I work to dis­tract my mind – but when I’m in my bed at night, the night­mares re­turn.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get over what Brady has done.

I’m a long way away from the girl who went club­bing all those years ago.

Now I just want to get stronger, to move on.

My lovely best mate Jamie

Vile: Brady

I saw the tat­too, knew it had to be me...

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