Forced to star in sick sex tape with Mum’s fella
I was violated over and over and I didn’t even know it
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
I saw the tattoo, knew it had to be me...