My knick­ers saved me

My ex had laid a trap for me, and she wasn’t alone...

Chat - - CONTENTS - Aimee Purdey, 20, Manch­ester

I heard the lock click be­hind me, and just knew...

Wrig­gling my toes in the sand, I took my girl­friend Si­mone’s hand.

What more could I want? I thought.

It was sum­mer 2017 – and as we watched the twin­kling lights of Black­pool’s seafront, I couldn’t have been hap­pier.

Af­ter a dif­fi­cult up­bring­ing, I’d moved into sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tion in my teens.

That’s how I’d met Si­mone McDer­mott. We’d just clicked.

Both 18, we came from sim­i­lar back­grounds. But our re­la­tion­ship was tu­mul­tuous.

Si­mone was con­stantly try­ing to make me feel jeal­ous.

‘I’m see­ing other peo­ple, it’s not work­ing,’ Si­mone spat dur­ing one row.

She’s messing with your head, I told my­self.

And sure enough…

Let’s get back to­gether, Si­mone texted later that night.

The on-off drama was so ex­haust­ing.

But I re­ally liked her... Soon af­ter, I vis­ited my mum in Spain.

‘I can’t wait for you to get back,’ Si­mone said, hugging me good­bye.

But, loung­ing be­side the pool a week later, I re­ceived

a Snapchat from Si­mone. In the photo, a girl I didn’t recog­nise was perched on Si­mone’s bed. Mo­ments later, a sec­ond pic – two pairs of legs stretched out to­gether in bed.

My heart sank. Si­mone was ob­vi­ously see­ing some­body else.

If that’s what you want, that’s fine, I replied.

I was dev­as­tated.

But I wasn’t about to beg for an­other chance.

So I stayed in Spain a bit longer, fly­ing back for New Year.

Only, a cou­ple of days later, as I boarded a tram, I spot­ted Si­mone.

Be­side her was our mu­tual friend Vicky Houghton.

Pulling my hood up, I moved away. ‘You s**g,’ I heard Si­mone hiss, slid­ing into the seat be­hind me.

Their cruel taunts con­tin­ued, and they started tak­ing my pic­ture.

Hu­mil­i­ated, I got off the tram.

Couldn’t un­der­stand why Si­mone was be­ing so vin­dic­tive. She’d dumped me! Later, I re­ceived a mes­sage from Si­mone, apol­o­gis­ing.

I’ve bro­ken up with Melissa, it read. Will you come over? I don’t feel safe.

I was sus­pi­cious. And still an­gry. But de­spite ev­ery­thing, I still cared for her.

When I ar­rived at her house, Si­mone was wait­ing out­side. ‘I’ve missed you,’ she said. Only, as we got in­side the front door, I heard the lock click be­hind me, and just knew…

It was a set-up.

Shak­ing, I heard the har­row­ing cackle of laugh­ter.

Glanc­ing up the stairs, I saw three girls run­ning to­wards me, led by Melissa.

Sud­denly, she swung her foot at my head.

Drop­ping to the floor, dis­ori­ented and in agony,

I felt con­tin­u­ous, un­re­lent­ing kicks and punches to my

head, face and body.

I quickly hid my phone

– my life­line – in my knick­ers, be­fore any of the girls could see what I was do­ing.

‘Please, let me go,’

I begged, sobbing.

‘I’m go­ing to break your f***ing face,’ Melissa screamed.

The oth­ers de­manded my phone, tak­ing it in turns to beat me.

‘I don’t have it,’ I lied.

Feet and fists pum­melled me, com­ing from all an­gles. I heard my at­tack­ers laugh with glee. Like a pack of hye­nas. Af­ter a long two min­utes,

I was dragged out the door and dumped in a heap. My vi­sion blur­ring as my eyes swelled,

I hid be­hind a parked car. My phone was still safely in my un­der­wear, so I grabbed it and called the po­lice. They ar­rived 20 min­utes later and called an am­bu­lance. At the Royal Manch­ester In­fir­mary, a CT scan showed se­vere bruis­ing to my head and body.

One of my fin­ger­nails was also badly dam­aged.

In the weeks af­ter, I strug­gled. Too scared to leave the house, I be­came a recluse.

In April 2019, Si­mone McDer­mott, 19, ap­peared at Manch­ester Crown Court.

She and Melissa Mar­riott, 19, pleaded guilty to as­sault with in­tent to rob.

Vic­to­ria (Vicky) Houghton and Siob­han Wait, both 19, pleaded guilty to as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm.

The court heard how Si­mone had whipped up Melissa into a jeal­ous, vi­o­lent rage be­cause she thought I had in­ti­mate pho­tos of us on my phone.

Turned out Vicky had filmed the whole at­tack, too.

The video, found by po­lice of­fi­cers when they’d seized her phone, was shown in court.

I sobbed, watch­ing my­self curled in a ball in the hall­way, as they rained down kicks on me.

Hor­ri­fied, I waited for jus­tice to be handed out.

Only, they all got sus­pended sen­tences!

Si­mone and

Melissa got two years, Vicky 14 months, Siob­han 13 months

– all in a young of­fend­ers’ in­sti­tu­tion.

Yet none of them would set foot in jail – un­less they broke the law again within two years.

Si­mone and Melissa had to do 280 hours of un­paid work, 30 days re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ac­tiv­ity re­quire­ments and pay me £750 com­pen­sa­tion.

Vic­to­ria and Siob­han got 180 hours un­paid work and were or­dered to pay me £250 in com­pen­sa­tion. ‘Pa­thetic,’ I cried.

I’m ter­ri­fied when­ever I see a group of peo­ple in the street. Still suf­fer anx­i­ety and have hor­rific night­mares.

Most nights, I can’t sleep at all.

Why should they be al­lowed to go home and sleep soundly in their own beds while I’m left with men­tal scars?

I’ve got a new girl­friend now, but it took a year to trust some­one again.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the be­trayal.

As I curled in a ball, they rained down kicks on me

I was badly beaten up

Si­mone The court where the girls were sen­tenced Melissa Vicky Siob­han I’ve been left with men­tal scars, have night­mares

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