After it all came out, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders in one aspect but then I had another weight on them and that was everyone knowing.
It was not kept a secret between me and my close family members as the man was involved within out entire family. He was embedded into it. We celebrated pretty much everything with him. My brother was due to get married and of course he was high up on the invitation list so it was something that could not have been kept hush hush as he did not get bail.
I suppose in hindsight it isn’t something that should have been kept quiet however, at the time it was quite difficult to come to terms with. It went from no one knowing anything about it. To everyone knowing about it. I had family members calling me up, crying. People quietly talking until I entered the room and people being extra sensitive to me.
I can understand now that actually they were trying to protect my feelings and perhaps showing their love towards me but actually I wanted everything to remain the same. I didn’t want any special or different treatment.I was still me and I wanted my family to remain the same.
After everything was out I felt like I went from being me to a very upset person. I mean I was possibly always upset but I hid it. I went from being an upset person in private to and upset person in public. When people asked if I was Ok I got a frog in my throat. I could not sleep and had sleeping tablets. I cried a lot.
I feared what his family might do now that it was all out in the open. I was right to be frightened. One of them came to my work another harassed Miles when she saw him. They all stated that we were liars and that God would punish us for our lies. My best friend also had some horrible speakings to when she saw them and the same when they saw my Mum.
I had to move location of my job because I feared being stalked and harassed. Whilst my transfer was being sorted I was escorted to and from the train station by a security guard. My life had changed even more than I never wanted it to.
Mum and Dad prepped me about what may happen in the court room. They also spoke to me about whether I should be in the court room, behind a screen or if my evidence should be given by video link. The later is what I opted for.
The court date took longer than we anticipated it to because the man needed observing and some tests taken. We was given dates that suspected they may need us in for. I did not want to be there for everything as it was no a very nice environment to be in. His family were continually slurring us and giving us verbal abuse of which made it a whole later harder.
The court case, drained us all. My parents sat in on the case during everything. There was a lot of statements and evidence to listen to. There was other people involved unfortunately in regards to my best friend and I and that all added to the case and strengthened it.
The thing that I found bizarre, is that 12 jury members decide if he is guilty or not. 12 absolute strangers. 12 actual people who are just within our community. 12 people who may know me but as I opted to give my evidence via video link I wont ever know. One of you maybe. Quite possibly someone who may be my boss one day.
The man, he denied it all. Said we made it all up. And apparently the other people were lying too. Giving evidence was tough, his side tried to make it out that I was lying. I knew this was their job and actually his team that tried to get him off of all charges gave my parents their condolences before they started on the first day so I knew not to take it personal.
Then it came to the deciding day. The jury went out. There was 20+** charges against him. It was not a conclusive decision. It was a majority vote of ten people who thought he was guilty, two people thought he was not guilty on all ten of the charges. At the time, I thought how can you not see he is guilty but I now I know you have to 100% know he is guilty.
Sentencing day- It was November. My best friend and I, along with some of my other close girlfriends were in Tenerife for my Birthday. When we received the call we were so happy with the sentencing.
He has been in prison for 10 years so far . He has an IPP sentence. It stands for Intermediate Punishment Program. He was given 8 years to serve and after those 8 years he would need to apply to parole to be released. Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs) were created by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and started to be used in April 2005. They were designed to protect the public from serious offenders whose crimes did not merit a life sentence. IPP prisoners should remain in prison until it is deemed that the risks they pose if released are manageable.
His parole hearing is due in December.
Will this ever end?
**Mum told me I got the amount of charges incorrect so edited amount to correct one