Terrified | They said it was my word against his in a carpark full of witnesses

I visited the busy shopping area, Reading Gate retail Park to quickly pop into a shop and return something. I left knowing that I am truly on my own and there is no protection in this world for the vulnerable.

When I exited my car to go into the shop, I stumbled into the hinge of my car door. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, sometimes unexpected pain in my feet or legs makes this happen. My door touched his, there was not even a contact noise, let alone a mark. He immediately wound down his window and started screaming hysterically at me in front of his two young children, who already looked terrified.

I’m not one to take shit from crazy strangers so after attempting to apologise, I told him to calm down and went into the shop. When I came out he had moved his vehicle to a position deliberately blocking the driver door, so I climbed in from the other side while he began screaming lewd sexual remarks at me, once I was in he then moved to the rear of the vehicle, using his children, and equally terrified looking wife as a blockade to prevent me from leaving. Yes he was screaming about the sexual harm he wanted to do to me in front of his entire family. Then he tried getting into my car…lucky for me I’m quicker than that and had already locked the doors!

I made it clear I was dialling 999. He laughed and started shouting about being the police, I honestly thought I was dealing with a mad man at this point. No way would someone so unstable be in force? Surely?

Turns out he absolutely wasn’t lying. Turns out his mates had his back, his female boss made no attempt to investigate, no one even asked him why he was trying to get into the car with me. He’s still a serving officer.

I sold my car because I was worried about the plate being recognised and targeted (a specific threat he made while I waited for the police to arrive). I now have a blue badge and will not park in a normal space in any car park, I’m too scared it’ll happen again. I learned to make pepper spray and learnt self defence because I’d rather be in prison than dead next time.

I can’t imagine the horrors that poor woman and her children must have to put up with every day. I really hope she finds the strength to walk away from that monster. I’d really like to know what he was planning once he got into my car, no one ever asked him.

Constabulary: Thames Valley Police

Timespan: About 5 years ago [redaction of date for legal reasons]

Did you report it to the police?: Yes

Your ethnicity: White British

Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010? Yes

Illustration by Danny Noble

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