tv Victoria Derbyshire BBC News May 21, 2019 10:00am-11:01am BST
hello, it's tuesday, it's ten o'clock, i'm victoria derbyshire. good morning. this morning — the impact of rape. in a searing exclusive interview with this programme, a woman raped by a former worcestershire county cricketer who was taking part in a "game" to see how many women he could have sex with, describes the ptsd, recurrent nightmares, partial paralysis of her face, and panic attacks she's suffered as a result. hepburn has no idea, i believe, the extent of what his stupid actions that night caused. there are no winners here, in terms of his competition, in terms of both of our futures. there are no winners here. he has no idea the...
hejust disregarded rape for all of its meaning. he joked about it and then he did it. he's got no idea of the rippling effect that it has on someone. 0k, he can cry in court because look what he's lost, he's lost his good character, he's lost his career, blah blah blah blah blah, but this was his choice. this was his decision. will bring you the full exclusive interview in the next half hour. also, days after our special investigation into the family courts revealed that four children have been killed in five yers after unsupervised contact with a known abusive parent and their child, the government today announces it will review how the family courts work. we'll get reaction from this former family courtjudge. and students at a school in london have told this programme exclusively they've been told they can't sit their a—level exams after they did badly in their mocks.
hello. welcome to the programme. we're live until 11 this morning. do get in touch on all the stories we're talking about — use the hashtag #victorialive. first annita mcveigh has the news. good morning. the government will review how the family courts work. the announcement comes after this programme revealed the dangers faced by children during unsupervised contact with a known abusive parent. ministers say a three month project will look at how the courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences. a student who was raped by a former worcestershire county cricketer has told this programme that her attackable never understand the effect it had on her. alex hebburn was last month sentenced to five
yea rs was last month sentenced to five years in prison. in an exclusive interview the student told us of the impact the rape had notjust on her but herfamily. impact the rape had notjust on her but her family. the rape doesn't only affect me. it affects my mum, my dad, my sister, everyone. my grandparents, my aunties, my uncles, my cousins, everybody that cares about me and loves me, it hurts them just as much as me. union leaders are meeting government ministers amid reports that british steel is on the brink of collapse. for thousand people are employed at the scunthorpe for thousand people are employed at the scu nthorpe plant. for thousand people are employed at the scunthorpe plant. the unite union is encouraging the company's owner grateful to find a solution. theresa may's cabinet are meeting to review what she has described as her new build brexit offer. the withdrawal agreement bill will be put before parliament at the beginning of next month. ministers are expected to discuss whether to start planning for a no—deal brexit.
more than 500 suspected members of drugs gangs have been arrested over the past week and a coordinated police operation across the uk. officers were tackling so—called cou nty officers were tackling so—called county lines drugs networks involving gangs from cities moving into smaller towns or rural areas and choosing children and vulnerable people to help until drugs. weapons we re people to help until drugs. weapons were recovered, people to help until drugs. weapons were recovered , as people to help until drugs. weapons were recovered, as well as more than £300,000 in cash. a man has been charged with common assault and criminal damage after a milkshake was thrown over nigel farage yesterday. the brexit party leader was doused with a drink while ona leader was doused with a drink while on a walkabout in newcastle cities —— centre. 32 red paul crowtherfrom throckley in newcastle was named by northumbria piece as the churchman. nurses are warning that needs to be a greater awareness the dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. they say a change in the law has failed to restrict the number of people using the gas
to get high. the home office says new psychoactive substances have already cost far too many lights. the first major legal challenge to the police use of automated facial recognition surveillance begins in cardiff later. ed bridges, whose image was taken using the technology, has crowd vented action against south wales police over claims that a lack of regulation in the use of the system breaches human rights. one of the best—known figures in motor racing, niki lauda, has died at 70. his family said the three—time former one world champion passed away peacefully. the austrian driver, who had a lung transplant last year, famously made a remarkable return to racing just a0 yea rs remarkable return to racing just a0 years after he was badly burned in a crash in 1976. that is our main news, back to you, victoria. thank you. good morning, welcome to the programme. some interesting news to bring you. days after our exclusive
investigation into the family courts revealed the horrifying news that four children have been killed in five years after unsupervised contact between a known abusive parent and their child was ordered, the government is today announcing it will review how the family courts work. ministers say a three—month project will look at how the courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences. following our excluisve revelations, over 120 mps — along with charities, lawyers and campaigners — called for an urgent indepdnent public pinquiry into the court system. one of the stories we highlighted was that of mum claire throssell, —— how many children will be let die, while the lack of scrutiny, and it is such a delicate and important institution, is allowing children to be murdered? it is simple. if i was
the justice secretary this would be murdered? it is simple. if i was thejustice secretary this would be my single and top priority. convey so it is not working? a blank in those cases it is not working. this is not a new problem. but it is still not working, which is cause for alarm. absolutely. a little girl disclosed her father had been sexually abusing her, she disclosed this not only to her mother and other family members but in a conversation with a social worker. given she was only a few years old, the social worker still recommended contact, and her words were, she will probably have forgotten about it by now. and so contact or to be ordered, albeit supervised, and the judge endorsed that. nobody is representing their interests, nobody is helping them and they are being asked to jump through ridiculous hoops, children are being sent to have unsupervised contact with
dangerous men and nobody is standing up dangerous men and nobody is standing upfor dangerous men and nobody is standing up for them or helping them, this could be the tip of the iceberg, we do not know the scale of the problems, which is what an inquiry is designed to show. one of the stories we highlighted was that of mum claire throssell, whose two sons jack, aged 12, and paul, aged nine, were murdered by theirfather after family courts said he could have unsupervised contact with them. two sons were frightened of their dad, they had been hurt by their dad and they did not want to see him. in the five months from april to october we went through a horrendous time of contact. they were told on to me in tears and say i do not want to me in tears and say i do not want to see my dad. i had to convince them to go. there was a court order in place for the five hours access, but every time the children said, i
do not want to go. in my application in thejuly, i want the family courts that he was capable of killing both my children. he lured them to the attic of our former marital home and said, i had some new trains, it just marital home and said, i had some new trains, itjust needs two new drivers. while they were in the attic he set 1a separate fires in the property, barricaded the property and went upstairs to join them in the attic. god. pull was on them in the attic. god. pull was on the floor from them in the attic. god. pull was on the floorfrom smoke them in the attic. god. pull was on the floor from smoke inhalation and it was jack because my hands that fulfilled last, not mine, he was beyond hearing when i got to him. all i could say was i love you and i will keep you safe, and chapel temp to the edge of the attic and u nfortu nately to the edge of the attic and unfortunately he fell through the attic hatchway into the flames below, and as he lay in those flames and the fireman picked him up, he
said to the fireman, the doctor and the policeman, my dad did this, and heated it on purpose. as part of our investigation we spoke to dozens of women who told us the courts had ordered unsupervised contact with a violent ex—partner — including some with serious criminal convictions. "katie" — not her real name — told us about her experience. because it is shrouded in secrecy, as they will, people do not have a clue what awaits them if they end up infamily clue what awaits them if they end up in family court, and the first rule of anybody abusing anybody in silence, and i personally feel the court system has abused me way more than my ex ever did. the system has abused you more? absolutely. our investigation was raised in the house of commons as labour mp louise haigh — who we'll speak to again in a moment, called on the prime minister to act and commission a full independent inquiry. research by the victoria derbyshire show has revealed that in the last
five years, four children have been killed following contact granted by the family court to known abusers. over 100 mps have written to the justice secretary calling for an independent inquiry into the treatment of victims of domestic abuse and violence. does the prime minister agree that there is something wrong with a system that forces contact, and if she agrees, will she commission that inquiry today? the family court system should never be used to coerce or re—victimised those who have been abused, the child's welfare should be the paramount concern. the former head of the family courts, sirjames munby, in a rare interview, told us exclusively that the issues we'd raised — and the weight of anecdotal evidence of problems in the system — were profoundly troubling. that was his quote. he said research by reputable
academics, free from the influence of government or any third parties, was desperately needed. our reporter anna collinson is here. what exactly has the government announced? we exposed troubling accounts of family courts ordering children to spend time alone with a parent with a history of domestic abuse. in some cases, that even included parents with convictions for crimes including rape, assault, and child sex abuse offences. today, the government said it will be undertaking a three month review of the family courts. it'll be conducted by panel of experts — including seniorjudges, academics and charities. we don't yet know who exactly that will be — the government says it will announce that. the review will be led and chaired by the ministry ofjustice, so it does fall short of a full independent inquiry, which is what mps and others had been calling for. this is significant. what will the review look at? the ministry ofjustice says it will focus on whether the family courts are working in the interests of children, and protecting them.
so it will look at how courts handle the types of cases we've raised — for example where a parent has convictions for serious violent or sexual offences. it will also look at whether the courts are consistently holding fact—finding hearings — which judges are supposed to hold whenever there are allegations of domestic abuse in order to properly investigate — but anecdotally we've heard that that is not always being done. and it will look at whether domestic abusers are using the court system two still, harass or control victims. we heard about that and investigation. —— to stalk, harass or control victims. justice minister paul maynard says the government will look at what comes out of this review — and then decide what changes might be needed. he told us, "some of the most vulnerable in our society come before the family courts, and i am absolutely determined that we offer them every protection." and he added that the review would help the government to better understand victims‘
experiences of the system, and make sure the family court isn't being used to coerce or re—traumatise victims. what sort of reaction has there been to the announcement so far? in a moment, you'll hearfrom the mp who's been leading calls for an independent inquiry, as well as the charity women's aid and a former high courtjudge. but this morning, labour leader jeremy corbyn gave us his reaction. he said the government's review is welcome, but needs to go further. he said he was deeply concerned by reports that children and victims of domestic abuse and violence have suffered following decisions made by the family courts, including — shockingly — the death of four vulnerable children who should have been protected from harm. he said, " labour backs calls for an independent inquiry to fully understand the extent of the problem and see the changes necessary to protect children and survivors of domestic abuse." let's get reaction to today's announcement from shadow policing minister — labour mp louise haigh, lucy hadley from women's aid and former family high court judge paul coleridge,
and now chairman of the marriage foundation. welcome to you all and thank you for coming on the programme. louise haigh, your reaction to this three—month ministry of justice haigh, your reaction to this three—month ministry ofjustice led review into the family courts?|j three—month ministry ofjustice led review into the family courts? i am delighted that government has acted at all, surprised given the response to my prime minister's question last week when the prime minister told me there was no evidence that an inquiry was needed, but it is not sufficient. there is a concern that this review will repeat other reviews we have had over the last couple of years, it needs to be independent, that is why we called for that. and the fact it is led by the ministry ofjustice suggests it will not be? of course it will not be if it is chaired by the government, it needs to be independent of their member family courts. it must have survivors on the panel, survivors‘ representatives. and as i said to
the secretary of state david gauke yesterday when he informed me, we will have to keep repeating these reviews if it is not underpinned by systematic gathering of data, evidence and analysis. it is great they are doing a public call for evidence, but my concern is it will not tell us anything we do not know, things that have not already been covered by your programme and other investigations and by women‘s aid. unless we gather the data, evidence and outcomes of what is happening in the family courts, we will never know and we will need to keep repeating the same lessons. you could have a folder of experiences from women and men who have been through the family courts weather has been unsupervised contact with a child and it has not had the outcome people would hope for, but unless it is analysed and recorded than it does not lead to meaningful recommendations and change? exactly. we need the objective analysis. people criticise our stories and say it is anecdotal evidence, and we need to know the full scale of the problem, the only
way we can do that is if we are gathering the data to fully assess the scale of the issue. you are a formerfamily the scale of the issue. you are a former family high court judge, the scale of the issue. you are a formerfamily high courtjudge, now chairman of the marriage foundation, what do you make of this three—month review, not independent of the government? it is important that the government? it is important that the government are taking the subject seriously, when they do it we clap and deployed, but not a hope of doing anything meaningful in three months. why? the blood in the four decades i have been involved in the system there have been —— decades i have been involved in the system there have been -- in the four decades i have been involved in the system there had been more calls for new systems that you can shake a stick at. there are no magic solutions, it is a very big problem. these very graphic cases highlight the tip of the very serious cases.
there is a problem in the other way, this is why the mps always get interested, only a few years back you will remember that the noise was coming from the father's' groups, saying that far from the courts being too strict, they were not being too strict, they were not being strict enough with people not allowing contact. therefore all of a sudden the emphasis switched and i suspect part of the problem that has arisen now is that guidance has gone to the courts that says you should allow contact wherever possible because it is a child's's right, as we all know, to have a relationship with both parents are possible. so we're having this seesawing backwards and forwards, you could easily have had somebody on from the father's' groups who say this is fine, there are so many false allegations. we heard that last week. it is highly complicated,
highly sensitive. but it is not a reason not to do it? no, but it is not a reason to do it superficially. lucy not a reason to do it superficially. lucho not a reason to do it superficially. lucy jo lucy hadley, which you describe this three—month review led by the government as superficial? we welcome the recognition of the very serious problems in the family courts peer response to domestic abuse at the moment, this announcement its recognition of that. at women's aid we have been campaigning since 2016, because survivors have told us that the safety of the family courts and the child contact system is the number one priority for concern. we have seen systemic issues with the lack of understanding of domestic abuse and its harm on children, the culture of contact at all costs which has been referred to, the consistent drive for contact being nhl's best interests. but is it
possible to get to the nub of this in 90 days? it is far too short, and to echo the concerns raised already, independence is crucial and we need a thorough look at this, because as a thorough look at this, because as a short scale limited review with quite strict parameters, it will not get to the heart of the issue. notary independence, but you must have expertise, people who really understand how current system works and what the basic problems are —— notjust and what the basic problems are —— not just independence. and what the basic problems are —— notjust independence. they say there will be members of the judiciary, charity representatives, campaigners, potentially politicians like yourself, academics, is that good enough? may be, if they give it enough time. you have to remember that this problem is caused, in my
opinion, by the huge weight of cases being pushed to the courts. this has gone up exponentially yeah after year after year. these cases, of which there are thousands and probably hundreds and courts within two miles of where we are sitting now, they have to be dealt with in a timely way. so these cases have been driven further and further down the syste m driven further and further down the system where there are more judges but of lower expertise. two, the removal of legal aid has been disastrous. it was a hatchet job to save money in the time of the cutbacks, it does not save money and it exposes people at their most vulnerable to having to deal with highly emotive problems, complicated family dynamic problems without the help of specialists. i believe this is the root cause of why we are where we are. and i think there is a
real danger which could merely be lip service to the problem, and probably why they do not want to do that serious evidential research because it will take serious resources to fix it, it will take the reinstatement of legal aid, nature reform and systematic change across the entire family court system, and i do not believe the will or the money are there. you can find it if you want. the purpose of calling for an independent inquiry is the palace it has, and we do not know what the setup of this review will be, how it will be able to compel the people that we need to hear from. most of these cases are dealt with in family proceedings courts, which in old—fashioned english are magistrates. they are not trained, they do a wonderfuljob and circumstances are many cases we have to get the work done, but in difficult cases like the ones you
have highlighted, you need people of the highest expertise. as a high courtjudge i used to do these cases when they were very, very difficult. it never happens now. and the workload that social workers and cafcass have, having 90 cases, how can you possibly advise and properly adjudicate? the entire system is creaking if not broken and it will ta ke creaking if not broken and it will take enormous political will and resources to fix it, and as i have saidi resources to fix it, and as i have said i do not think it is there. but it is terribly important. thank you for -- thank you for coming on the programme. still to come... in her first tv or radio interview, the university student raped by former worcestershire county cricketer alex hepburn speaks exclusively to us today about the the ptsd, the panic attacks and the facial paralysis she suffered in the aftermath of her ordeal and the hideous realisation she was raped as part of a competition to see how many women he and his friends
could have sex with. hepburn has no idea, i believe, the extent of what his stupid actions that might cost. google —— that night caused. there are no winners here, in terms of the competition, in terms of both of our futures. there are no winners here, he has no idea, hejustjust disregarded rape for all of its meaning, hejoked about it, and then he did it. he‘s got no idea of the rippling effect that it has on someone. ok, he can cry in court because look at his loss, his good character, his career. but this was his choice, this was his decision. there was no thought for me from all of this, and i want to let everybody know exactly how it makes people feel, in the hope to educate and prevent this from happening. that is why i am here. do get in touch with us
throughout the morning — use the hashtag v#ictorialive. you can always e—mail, whatsapp or use twitter. students at an academy in london have been told they can‘t sit their a—level exams after they did badly in their mocks. the pupils at ucl academy say it means they won‘t have enough grades to meet their university offers — one says he‘s being forced to pay about £a50 per exam to sit them elsewhere. the school said those at risk of not passing were "identified early in the school year" and support plans was put in place. but the students say they weren‘t given enough notice and are accusing the college of being more interested in exam league tables than the future of their students. let‘s speak now to benin, zehra and neville — neville is on the phone. they‘re all students at ucl academy. benin got in touch with the show
on behalf of her friends. zehra and neville have both been withdrawn from classes. we‘re also joined by geoff barton. he‘s the general secretary of the association of school and college leaders. provides what made you contact us? lots of people were affected badly by it, my friend was put under pressure, lots of people in school felt they did not know what to do after being dropped out, they didn‘t know whether or not to go outside of school, what to do with that university offers, so i felt i needed to make sure people were aware of it and that the younger yea rs aware of it and that the younger years in our school do not end up in the same situation as our year. zehra, you have been withdrawn. if your a—levels even though you got better upgrades than expected let you have been withdrawn from some of your a—levels?
you have been withdrawn from some of your a-levels? it was not my mock rates, i had a high predicted grades, it was an a, which is howl applied through ucas. they based it on one round of marks. i did not do the first mark, just the second, they based it on that. —— i did not do the first mock, just the second. i think it is very unfair. lots of people do not do well throughout the year but end up with good grades at the edge of the year when they actually search a—level exam.|j the edge of the year when they actually search a-level exam. i will bring in neville if i may, i hope you can hear is, how are you? a good sign. what happened to you?” you can hear is, how are you? a good sign. what happened to you? i had interviews for medicine during the february mocks, i informed the school that i would not be able to
participate in the mocks. i had to prioritise it. as a result, i underperformed so i was informed at the end of march april that i would be withdrawn from taking my a—levels because of howl be withdrawn from taking my a—levels because of how i had performed in a mock, even though i informed them. i thought the school would consider that i had interviews for medicine and that is my priority. let me read you a statement from ucl academy, your parents were involved in this decision, they say, they say any decision, they say, they say any decision to withdraw a student from an exam is difficult and it is one we make with the student and family, they say targets were agreed on actions necessary to fulfil them we re actions necessary to fulfil them were put in place, along with a wider discussion of other support needed. if this did not lead to improved progress in assessment to
be discussed with the student and the parent the possibility of not entering them for an a—level in that subject, we would only do this if we had seen no evidence that the stu d e nts had seen no evidence that the students could achieve a pass grade. is that what happens? they decided they would give me a week to sit a test and i would have to revise the whole of a—level maths to answer the test, and depending on howl whole of a—level maths to answer the test, and depending on how i did would say whether they withdrew me or not. during that week my school was on it by class trip, i was gone for three days, meaning was on it by class trip, i was gone forthree days, meaning i had was on it by class trip, i was gone for three days, meaning i had less time to prepare for the exams. and if you give someone a week to prepare the whole of a—levels, some may say it is possible but i do not think it is enough time. and also in terms of... why was itjust a week, you have presumably been preparing for these for two years? that is true, but what happened was that after the stress that was put on
us... during this time we had ladbrokes and other things —— we had lab work and other things that prevented us from preparing, and the pressure the school was putting on us, they were trying to bring us down as if they wanted us to underachieve so they could withdraw us. i think they would push back on that, i do not think they would actively seek to undermine students. would you agree, jeff barton? there is no head teacher or senior leadership team that would want stu d e nts to leadership team that would want students to do badly? exactly. as we know, this is a time of high anxiety for pupils anyway. stu d e nts of high anxiety for pupils anyway. students who started an a—level course sometimes did not finish the course, that was either because of medical reasons, because it was the
wrong course but i wish he would negotiate that with the student and pa rents negotiate that with the student and parents and it seems to me the issue here is and it feels to me, again i don‘t know the issue, it feels about timing and manner, it seems to be like that you‘re being informed you‘re not completing the course and if it were the case you are being told by e—mail, i think most of us would think that is a fairly brutal way of doing it but i think this goes for you and you said this victoria, there were other support procedures and certainly as an association representing 19,000 litres we would expect due process to be followed. would you say there was support for you? during the year, of course, the scope of support in place for their students but for me, as you mentioned, it was the timing, it was an a few weeks before my a—level exams and i didn't have notice that i was going to be withdrawn and i thought, you know, i was going to university in september. it is the impact, what is
the impact on you now? i'm not sure about what i'm going to do, and lost as to what i'm going to do with my offers. you haven't taken your a—levels or you are taking them? offers. you haven't taken your a-levels or you are taking them? i'm only taking two. as opposed to? originally three, and it was the main subject that i need for my course. 0k. main subject that i need for my course. ok. i thought main subject that i need for my course. 0k. ithought marx main subject that i need for my course. ok. i thought marx were so you could almost badly or you know, at least you could show a true reflection of how you were doing and you knew you needed to do them the extra stuff for this. i know that, when i managed to felt my mock exams and then i got an a in english, use that as an indication of how a child might do but the statistics of the school, they have a completion rate of 95%. people finish the a-level courses? meaning some don't, if this school was all about getting rid of stu d e nts school was all about getting rid of students who are not going to pass you would have 100% completion rate and my instinct is its not far
off? it depends on the size of the six form, you might be talking about 30 or a0 young people, i don‘t know but all i‘m saying is if people assume the school is malevolently dry to get students out of the school because of its league table position the external data doesn‘t suggest that to me, this feels like a school which were probably concede it could have communicated better both with students and parents and got the timing better, that i suspect, is the case. 0k. what do you think the school should do now? there's nothing really the school can do for the students that were dropped out this year but i feel like next year, if you were to drop someone out, you should have told them may be at the start of the year because we were informed in year 12 that people will be dropped out if they did not develop or perform well but if you are passing that stage then you should be able to set your a—level exams at the end of year 13. right. never, what are you going to
do? with me, i've decided to find somewhere else to take it privately, i‘ve had to pay roughly £900 somewhere else to take it privately, i've had to pay roughly £900 for the two a—levels? i've had to pay roughly £900 for the two a-levels? yes, my school isn‘t letting me take them at their centre. what do you think about that? i know not only me but for a lot of students, that‘s quite a lot of money, because of my background, to pay to do our exams, i‘m quite outraged. do you think the school should pay that neville is having to spend? because i don't know the details are not going to say that they should or shouldn‘t. details are not going to say that they should or shouldn't. but do you have a view? neville is paying £900 privately. at the end of a two-year course that would seem to be very difficult to justify, i think the school will listen to this and make sure they learnt lessons from it.
that‘s no consolation for either of these individuals. all of us listen to this and think there are definitely lessons to be learned. keesha says i remember everyone doing badly in mock exams and teachers use that to scare us into revising. lily says this is disgusting, many people don‘t respect the work into their mock exams. bad grades are usually a wake—up call. if i was a parent i would pull my child from the school so the school would their funding. thank you all of you for coming on the programme. we appreciate your time. thank you. what is the impact on an individual of being raped? in the case of one 23 year old woman — the impact has been shocking, dramatic and debilitating. what we‘re about to play contains detailed descriptions of what happened to her and how it has affected her life — the interview will last about 25 minutes. in her first broadcast interview,
the university student raped by a former worcestershire county cricketer has told this programme he will "never understand" the effect it had on her. alex hepburn was last month sentenced to five years in prison. he will spend the rest of his life on the six offenders register. what emerged during his trial for rape was that hepburn and his friend had set up a sexual conquest "game" on whatsapp to see how many women they could have sex with. in an exclusive interview, ‘sarah‘ — not her real name — told us how the rape had affected her. very stereotypical, a big, scary man ina dark very stereotypical, a big, scary man in a dark alley, physical violence.
a stranger? yes, absolutely, yes. and now? anyone. a rapist doesn‘t have a set face or dress or you know, anyone, absolutely anyone. you woke up early one morning having gone to sleep with a cricketer cold joe clark with whom he had had consensual six. the reason that you woke up was because a man was having six with you and you believed it to bejoe six with you and you believed it to be joe clark. six with you and you believed it to bejoe clark. when did you realise it wasn‘t him. bejoe clark. when did you realise it wasn't him. when he spoke in a thick australian accent, that‘s the minute i knew it wasn‘t him. thick australian accent, that‘s the minute i knew it wasn't him. and what was dismantling to you? at the timei what was dismantling to you? at the time i realised it was hepburn, we we re time i realised it was hepburn, we were having sex, he was on top of
me, and what was your reaction? the minute i realised, i pushed him off, i was frantic, where isjoe conover isjoe, i i was frantic, where isjoe conover is joe, i pushed i was frantic, where isjoe conover isjoe, i pushed him off straightaway. and i asked him what he was doing. and then i remember assertive laying in a fatal position, sort of, on the bed and going through the night, in a state of shock. it seemed like forever, i was laying in that position, i remember thinking i need to ring joe, i remembered grabbing my mobile, filming joe and his firm was vibrating on the floor next to us. soi vibrating on the floor next to us. so i locked myself in to the ensuite bathroom. and rank my housemate. what did you say to him? my exact words were i just woke what did you say to him? my exact words were ijust woke up to just rent having sex with me and he said what you need to do is go get your clothes, get dressed and leave the flat, send me your location on text message and i will be there as soon
asi message and i will be there as soon as i can be. i will break my other housemate. i went into the bedroom, put on my clothes, i couldn‘t tell you what hepburn was doing at this point. as i was leaving the flat i looked forjoe, he wasn‘t in the communal area or any of the other bedrooms, there was no one else there. and then there was a toilet door on the way out of the flat and it was locked. and i managed to unpick it with my thumbnail. and there i found job would have slumped, hugging the toilet, in his boxers and i remember dragging his shoulders and lifting him up and shaking him, frantic, yourfriend has just had sex with me and i remember him stretching and what? what? sort of, what‘s going on? and at this point hepburn had come round to the corner into the bathroom and i filled with venom and i remember you know exactly what you‘ve just done, the police will be here in a
minute andi done, the police will be here in a minute and i fled. i done, the police will be here in a minute and ifled. i remember swinging the flat door is open and it rebounded off the walljust in rage, i guess, shock, anger. frustration. i couldn‘t even tell you exactly how i felt. and then i rang my friend again and said i‘m out of the flat, what do i do now? this is all you instructed me to do and he said, can you see anyone? you need to ring the police, we are on our way but he let the other side of the city and i said yes, i can see someone and by luck, a lovely, lovely lady was walking which i later learned she was on her way to start her shift and ijust remember running down the road and saying to her, i‘vejust been raped, that‘s exactly what my friend told me to say. you need to tell her you‘ve just been raped and she needs to ring the police for you. he‘s my best friend, the guy on the phone, he knows me inside and out and he
knew exactly what i needed to hear and what i needed to do. i then did exactly what he told me to do, i ran to her. i was hysterical at this point. i said to her. i was hysterical at this point. isaid i‘vejust to her. i was hysterical at this point. i said i‘vejust been raped, can you help me? again, i can‘t really remember how exactly the conversation went, i remember throwing up in the street and i remember her rubbing my shoulders, i remember her rubbing my shoulders, i remember being freezing. i‘m just saying, it‘s ok, i‘ll ring the police, i‘ll ring the police. but it sort of, you know if you watch a film and everything around you is going really quickly, that‘s exactly how it felt. everything was a player but it felt really real, as much as it didn‘t. and then someone else, a neighbour, i guess, that lived on the street where we were, they had come out because obviously i was quite loud, hysterical. —— blur. i guess they came out to see what was
going on and they invited me into their house which again, i‘m so, so grateful for. and they let me sit there, my friends arrived and we just waited in there. i remember they had a lovely little dog. and we just waited. our audience cannot see yourface. ok. just waited. our audience cannot see your face. ok. i just waited. our audience cannot see yourface. ok. ican just waited. our audience cannot see yourface. ok. i can see yourface and you have tears in your eyes. our audience can hear the emotion in your voice and as you are telling our audience about what you experienced, we can hear how it is having an impact on you. i would like you to tell our audience about the impact on both your body and your mind as the days turned into weeks turned into months. because you were right. —— because you were raped. because it happened, i guess
i was raped. because it happened, i guess iwas in raped. because it happened, i guess i was in denial. the people that learned, my family and friends and thought not, they said to me and i remember, the advice everyone gave me was don‘t let this define you. it's me was don‘t let this define you. it‘s kind of hard because i really didn‘t have an understanding of rape or the implications of it, the effect or impact it would have on a person, i remember, don‘t let this define you, you are going to carry on and you will be fine and for the first to months, i was fine. i didn‘t want to leave, i was at university in the city where it happened at the time and i didn‘t, my parents begged me to come home andi my parents begged me to come home and i said no, why should i have to miss out on this? it was the last few months of my university experience, my studying. and i said no, why should i? this is like my final year, why should i have to go?
ididn‘t want final year, why should i have to go? i didn‘t want anything to change, i didn‘t want it to define me, whatever that meant and i was, i‘m fine, i carried on as normal. in hindsight, i wasn‘t normal. far from. and i carried on, i still went to my lectures. i told my personal academic tutor what had happened. and again, i thank her so much, she was able to extend my dissertation deadlines because this was a month before my dissertation was due, such a crucial part of my education, my future, my life. and loss of sound my boyfriend at the time. i got so wrapped up in him. i guess it was my escape. he made me happy.
that‘s what i wanted to feel, i didn‘t want to acknowledge anything else in my life, i‘d met this wonderful guy so i‘m going to be so absorbed in him, which was great, it was fine. he then went travelling. and so it left me, then, that was june. and all of my friends had finished the dissertation at this point, everyone was moving home, university was over now. and so i was back with my parents who come at the right doesn‘t only affect me, it affects my mum, my dad, my sister, everyone, my grandparents, my aunties, uncles and cousins, eve ryo ne aunties, uncles and cousins, everyone that knows me and cares about me and loves me, it hurts them just as much as it hurts me. so i‘m back with my family and i can see the effect it has on my mum. and i can‘t escape my boyfriend, he is now travelling. i have to face this. and
it was then that i sort of realised that i couldn‘t hide from this. and that i couldn‘t hide from this. and that it was going to affect me whether i liked it or not. you that it was going to affect me whetherl liked it or not. you that it was going to affect me whether i liked it or not. you i feel like i should say, and this is ha rd feel like i should say, and this is hard for you to talk about this. and you want to tell our audience about this. why do you want to speak about this? because hepburn has no idea, i believe, the extent of what his stupid actions that night caused. there are no winners here, in terms of his competition, in terms of both of his competition, in terms of both of our futures, there of his competition, in terms of both of ourfutures, there is no winners here, he has no idea, hejust disregarded rape for all of its meaning, hejoked disregarded rape for all of its meaning, he joked about disregarded rape for all of its meaning, hejoked about it, and then he did it. he‘s got no idea of the rippling effect that it has on someone, ok, he can cry in court because look at his last, he‘s lost
his good character, his career. this was his choice, his decision. he hadn‘t, there was no thought for me at all through all of this. so i wa nted at all through all of this. so i wanted to come here and let everyone know exactly how it makes people think, in the hope to educate and prevent this from happening, that‘s why i‘m here. prevent this from happening, that‘s why i'm here. we are grateful that you chose us to speak about this. you suffered a partial paralysis on one side of your face. you had recurrent nightmares, i think. you have been diagnosed with ptsd. those are some of the other huge things that have happened to you as a result of being raped. yes. you've also had to go to court twice, there we re also had to go to court twice, there were two trials. what was the most
challenging time for you in court, would you say? in court, i would say, the most difficult thing is just being made out a liar. you know, that what you are saying isn‘t true when you know it is. and it‘s evident in my behaviour, how i talk, that‘s difficult in itself. when i went into court, i was given this folder, a hefty, sort of folder. and, unbeknown to me at the time, it was the stack of evidence that the cps had got and i was told to refer to page whatever, to view the text between you and joe. so, you know, did that, i can see the text, fine. and then i was told turn to page whatever. and i did. and there was a
picture of the matter is that it happened on. and panic attack, no forewarning. in the courtroom? yes, yes. thejudge again, amazing person, cleared the courtroom insta ntly a nd person, cleared the courtroom instantly and gave me a break. there was no forewarning for what i was about to see. in such a sensitive case. it's shocking. and again, just so our audience can learn more, you we re so our audience can learn more, you were seated behind a screen, as i understand, in the courtroom? you‘d already recorded your achieving best evidence video so you weren‘t cross—examined in court but it was in court. when he learned for the first time about this whatsapp sexual conquest competition between the group of friends. involving alex hepburn and you told me before we
began talking this morning that you are ok with me reading out some of those messages. that's ok. yes. this was one from alex. got to be fair she is. names, age, black orwhite, your writing, their rating. again, another one from him. the shanks have to be legitimate. not prostitutes. may the best man win. we should probably get tested this summer. this one from joe clark. no reheats allowed. that apparently means not being able to have sex with the same person. and again, alex hepburn, there be me dragging them home and you raping them. what do you think of those messages? what do you think of those messages? what do you think of those messages? what do you think of this discourse between these young men? shocking.
absolutely vile. to talk about women that way. we are just items, we are just another number, a competition, it‘s so degrading. for who they are. actually, aside from who they are a doesn‘t matter who they are, to talk about women in that way. it‘s disgusting. absolutely. but in terms of who they are, you know, they are role models, they have blue takes on instagram, they are celebrities, in such a small city like worcester. on social media these days it so easy to become a public figure and they are very aware to become a public figure and they are very aware that people look up to them, that‘s their career. and then to be able to talk like that about women is shocking. we learned, i remember learning in my first ever ict lessons in primary school, whatever you put online, it‘s there, whether you think you‘ve deleted it, or your friend
whether you think you‘ve deleted it, or yourfriend thinks whether you think you‘ve deleted it, or your friend thinks they have deleted it, it will always be there. why the hell did they write these messages? they are professionals. how was this even i don‘t even have any words. no. the judge did, describing it as a pathetic sex game and he said to alex hepburn at sentencing, you probably thought it was flattish behaviour at the time, in truth it was felt sexism, it demeans women and trivialised rape, a word you personally through around lightly. what do you think of alex hepburn? —— lad —ish behaviour. it's it‘s difficult. i will never forgive him. his arrogance is prevalent
throughout all of this. again, it‘s really difficult, it goes back to the stereotype. he, in my eyes, initially wasn‘t a rapist, he was a quy initially wasn‘t a rapist, he was a guy similar to initially wasn‘t a rapist, he was a guy similarto me, initially wasn‘t a rapist, he was a guy similar to me, enjoying a night out with a similar lifestyle, we both enjoy going out drinking, spending time with our friends. learning that rape doesn‘t fit the stereotype is really difficult. i fled a fortune, easy life in that respect in terms of trauma and bad luck, if you like. and everything in my head fit the stereotype, i avoided everything negative as such. to then find yourself in the position i was in, and it wasn‘t a big, scary man in an alley with a baseball bat and you know, he didn‘t physically hurt me. it‘s really
i hate physically hurt me. it‘s really ihate him. physically hurt me. it‘s really i hate him. i hate him. i hate all that he is. there has been a burning question in may, white did this happen, why did this happen to me? and you have to know, finally, naturally? i think it goes back to, i don‘t even think he thought it was rape, either, like thejudge said, he trivialised rape in his mind but i‘m adamant he thought i would be grateful for this. the i‘m adamant he thought i would be gratefulfor this. thejudge hit the nail on the head, he said he arrogantly assumed i would consent. he is very misguided, i think. arrogantly assumed i would consent. he is very misguided, i thinkm it, it sounds like you need to find the reason why this happened to you? is that important to you? why?
absolutely. i don‘t know whether it would just be easier to accept when i know why. it‘sjust would just be easier to accept when i know why. it‘s just white would just be easier to accept when i know why. it‘sjust white me? it‘s really unfair. i think if anything negative happens there has to be a white me? you need it, because to maybe move on, i‘m not sure. do you believe he has any idea of the impact on what he‘s done? not a shred. no idea. no idea. his arrogance has been so evident throughout this whole process. from start to today, really. he will have no idea of his behaviour, it‘s implicated my life, the life of my family, my ex—boyfriend, my friends, eve ryo ne family, my ex—boyfriend, my friends, everyone who loves and cares about me and he will have no idea.
absolutely no idea. you were asked by the police to hand your phone over to them. as you know, there is a live debate going on right now about whether it is right to ask alleged sexual assault complaints to do this. and some lawyers and women‘s charities and some police officers don‘t necessarily think it‘s appropriate. once your own view? again, it's really tough. i would have bent over backwards for the police to ultimately achieve my aim thati the police to ultimately achieve my aim that i set out to do. the reason i called the police to prevent him doing it to someone else, to get him off the streets, he is unworthy, he is undeserving of any society we live in. so ultimately, you will do anything. you give up your body for anything. you give up your body for a physical examination hours after
it had happened. then it comes to your phone. i didn‘t want to have some stranger, another stranger, in between my legs. no. you then have to give up my phone, it‘s going back to give up my phone, it‘s going back to that,, the whole reason i‘m sat here today, where is my choice? this isn‘t fair. you recently began a new job. and last week you were sacked. i your new employers. because you say they didn‘t want any publicity surrounding you linked to them. but wa nt surrounding you linked to them. but want any direct or indirect publicity. how do you feel about that? again, it's really unfair for me. ifeel like, you know, hepburn has lost his career and rightly so, this was his choice but now i am. the nature of myjob is solely dependent, i would say, on a good
rapport with my employer, absolutely 100%, which requires integrity, honesty, being open with them, absolutely, crucial parts to my career and grow. which consequently has meant that i told them which has then led to me being fired. it's so unfair. when you think about the future, sarah, what do you think about? when it was out of the way and he got convicted, it was like, quite literally, a weight lifted from my shoulders, i remember feeling euphoric and actually happy, genuinely happy, for the first time since the 1st of april 2017. and i forgot what happy felt like. and i was on cloud nine, absolutely, i could see how happy my mum was and it made me so happy and my sister was so happy and my boyfriend was so happy and my friends, they were all ecstatic, it was a shared joy
because this didn‘tjust happen to me, this happened to everyone. your account has been searing and honest and painful. i can see that. i mean, you are dignified and courageous. and thank you very much for talking to our audience. because people will be educated, i hope, but what you described to date. and thank you very much for giving us so much of your time. thank you. and if you are affected by any of the issues raised in that interview, you can get more from the bbc action line. bbc newsroom live is coming up next. thank you for your company today. have a good day.
you‘re watching bbc newsroom live. it‘s 11 am, and these are the main stories this morning: one of the best—known figures in motor racing, niki lauda, has died at the age of 70. his family said the three—time formula 1 world champion "passed away peacefully". tributes have poured in from around the world — british former formula 1 champion jenson button called lauda a "legend", while the mclaren team said he would be "enshrined in our history". theresa may will give cabinet ministers the details of what she‘s called her "new bold offer" today, in a final push to get her brexit deal passed. british steel — which employs thousands of people in scunthorpe — is due to hear whether it will receive an emergency government