I met this man [redaction made for legal reasons] when he contacted me and expressed an intention to work with a greenbelt protection group I belonged to. He had retired from the police service a couple of years previously.
He used his [redacted for legal reasons] email and phone to do this. We invited him to meet with us at my home. He very quickly became very familiar with me, increasing the frequency of his messages to me which became more personal, telling me he was “stalking my Facebook” and asked if I was 24 when I was in my 40s, and eventually these became sexual in nature.
I knew he was married by this point, and I entered into a consensual sexual interaction with him intending it to be a one off. He was 20 years older than me, very right wing, a strict Catholic and because of his policing background I stupidly felt safe with him…initially. Despite my intention for the relationship to be brief, he would not leave me alone after our initial sexual encounter and persuaded me to see him again. He would send me messages constantly into the early hours and be angry or petulant if I didn’t respond. Even when I went on holiday to New Zealand for three weeks I couldn’t get away from his presence and constant contact. I had previously confided in him that I had been sexually abused by my grandfather as a small child, I had had difficulty forming relationships with men and he was aware I was emotionally vulnerable. He later told me that “I was vulnerable and that was attractive”.
Very early on into the relationship he told me he loved me and I feel absolutely stupid now, but I believed him and he had tapped into a deep emotional need in me and he knew it. He would casually talk about his wife falling under buses and he was angry as she had left her house to her children, but at the same time say he still loved her.
He suggested trying some light bondage which I agreed to initially. This gradually got worse and worse, I was not allowed to say no and he would often restrain me – at times with handcuffs he was issued on his retirement from the police, which he still has I imagine. He used to hit me so hard sometimes I would cry and then tell me he was doing it because he loved me but that I needed to be “put in my place”. He would not stop if I asked him to and if I tried to move away from the blows he would hit me harder. He would also anally rape me. I had told him at the start of the relationship that I did not wish to have anal sex, I had experienced it in the past and found it extremely painful and degrading. His reply to me was that “I didn’t have a choice”.
He would insist we only communicated via Whatsapp because he believed the messages couldn’t be pulled back by the police once they are deleted and he would check my phone to see if I had deleted them. However he started to tell me if I spoke up about the relationship he would accuse me of stalking him. This frightened me and silenced me. He also told me if I reported the rape the police would laugh in my face because I had let him into my house. I started to download chunks of the messages onto my phone and then emailed them to myself and saved them. But I didn’t report him until months after the relationship eventually ended.
He told me that he spent most of his police career patrolling his area and looking for women to have sexual interactions. He liked in particular to do things he shouldn’t do in front of people he shouldn’t be doing it in front of. He described often putting his fingers inside bank workers while they were serving customers. He had multiple mistresses while married to his first wife and left her and his children for one of these ladies. He told me that both this lady and his ex wife were ‘mad’ or ‘alcoholics’. I have spoken to his first wife and this mistress and neither of these accusations were true. Unfortunately he went on to financially and psychologically coerce the mistress. He made her put half the house she owned into his name, he would not allow her to put on any weight as he prefers women to be bone thin and easier to control. When this lady/mistress finally ended the relationship she had to report him to his [senior rank – redacted for legal reasons] as he had had a key cut to her house and was letting himself in while she was at work, and then used to watch her and her daughters from the moors at night. I’m not sure if these reports were ever taken down officially.
He told me I needed to forgive my paedophile grandfather. He did not believe men who sleep with underage girls should be convicted and used the phrase “If a girl is old enough to bleed, she’s old enough to butcher”. He also told me when he patrolled his town and ever came across underage girls having sex in cars with older men, he just used to watch then leave them to get on with it if they were ‘happy enough’.
As well as the physical abuse he was psychologically very cruel – I have a message still where he said “don’t think for one minute I won’t have complete control over you physically or mentally”. He would end the relationship at regular intervals, then wait until I was just getting my head around that and then come back into my life and rekindle it again. He used to ‘treat me’ with sexual encounters that were more loving and did not include anal sex at these initial reigniting stages. I would wonder if he had changed and then he would revert to normal – often saying he preferred vaginal sex but then forcing me to have anal sex with him – almost like I wasn’t worth anything more.
Near the end I was so mentally ground down I considered suicide. I tried to turn to him for help and he refused to do this. I found myself in my car having driven to a viaduct one night. Something stopped me. I phoned him and told him sobbing how I was feeling. He told me if I came near him he would have me done for stalking him.
Around 10 months after the relationship ended, I complained to [redacted for legal reasons] about his behaviour . The [redacted for legal reasons] solicitor referred the case to the police. I did my initial video interview in [redacted for legal reasons], and did my best to pass what evidence I had to them, my detective changed 3 times and they didn’t download evidence from my phone until [redacted for legal reasons] – I’m still not sure why it took all that time. My detective was really excellent, she said she believed me and I believe she did. I think reduced staff trying to deal with ever increasing workloads and complex cases does not help. Unfortunately my case did not go to a charge and I was told that this was because the relationship that the rape happened within was an affair and therefore this would undermine my allegations in court. I knew the evidence I had to give was scant, it was also set within the context of relationship chat some of which was normal, romantic and sexual in the context of the consensual aspects of the relationship and I had reported late, however I didn’t expect to be told that that in the laws eyes if a woman has an affair she cannot therefore be raped… I thought those sorts of victim blaming narratives were moving into the past.
This man is still [redacted for legal reasons]. The [redacted for legal reasons] refused to do their own investigation as they considered the rape allegations to have “taken place in his private life”. They told me they passed this to [redacted for legal reasons] – however I am still to this day to hear anything from them either.
I think I was the first woman to have had the courage to report him, I know he will have had other victims in the past – his friend, another serving police officer, told me he “had form” and I worry he will have future victims now.
Constabulary: West Yorkshire Police
Timespan: 2019-2020 – around 16 months
Did you report it to the police?: Yes
Your ethnicity: White British
Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: Thoughts/feelings
Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: No