horrific | 

Survivor, who was choked, head-butted and sexually assaulted, says she’s ‘terrified of him – even though he is in prison’

Survivor encourages other victims of sexual abuse to come forward

Derek Reid

Ken Foy and Declan BrennanIndependent.ie

A survivor of sexual abuse has spoken of her fears that her attacker may organise for her to be targeted by his criminal associates while he is in prison.

Derek Reid (35) of Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3, was this week jailed for five and a half years after the Central Criminal Court heard that he repeatedly assaulted and sexually assaulted his then partner and later held her in her home against her will.

Reid has a previous conviction for the assault of another former partner who was heavily pregnant at the time.

He slapped his latest victim in the face, choked her, headbutted her, dragged her around her flat by the hair and sat on her chest and put his hands on her mouth to stop her screaming out for help.

He threatened to make her son go missing and said her sister would die screaming from what he would do to her.

Shortly before he was due to go on trial, Reid pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault committed between March 10 and 13, 2018. He also pleaded guilty to false imprisonment of the woman from March 15 to 16, 2018.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, his victim said she believed Reid deserved a longer sentence.

“I am just full of fear and I am terrified of him even though he is in prison,” the woman said.

The survivor, who is aged in her 30s, said the sex offender showed “no remorse” and sniggered while looking at her during Thursday’s sentencing hearing.

The inner city-based woman told a previous court hearing that Reid had made a “gun gesture” towards her when he was refused bail and she has serious concerns she may be targeted in a revenge attack.

She outlined the devastating effect the ordeal has had on her life.

“I’m barely able to sleep at night – sometimes I wake up on the hour crying and other times when I wake up, I think about him and what he did to me.

“He has destroyed me and I will never get over it – it is burnt into my brain for the rest of my life” she said.

The woman is now calling for other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

“If I had message, it would be don’t stay silent, and once you get the case over with you can then start to properly deal with the trauma,” she said.

“There is always hope, there is always someone out there to help,” she added as she paid tribute to the support of her partner and the help she has received from the Saol Project in Dublin, a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty.

“There is no shame in asking for help or showing your vulnerable side and my partner will never know how much he helped because I could not tell my parents what happened.”​

In court, the survivor said she was a “strong woman” who went on to get a college degree after her ordeal .

“I will never let anyone hurt me like you [Reid] did. I will continue to be the best version of myself I can be,” she said.

Reid and his victim met online in February 2017 but they didn’t meet in person until February 2018.

Within days of this meeting, Reid had effectively moved in to her city centre flat, where all the offending later took place, and he began talking about getting engaged.

The woman felt controlled by Reid, who made her believe she had nobody to turn to.

In the first assault Reid had drank a pint of vodka. He ripped the woman’s clothes off and had sex with her, biting her cheek and telling her he wanted her to have his baby.

She told gardaí it happened out of nowhere and she didn’t consent but she was too afraid to tell Reid to stop. Later that evening Reid forced her to give him oral sex, pulling her hair and forcing her head down.

He left the next day but came back and repeatedly assaulted her over the course of the night. At one point, she managed to get out of the flat and was making her way to the security gates in the courtyard of the apartment complex when Reid caught up with her and dragged her back inside.

He began slapping her again and spitting in her face. He told her “do you want your ma and son to go missing, or even better your sister? She will not die screaming of cancer, she will die screaming of what I’m going to do to her.”

At one point during the six days, the woman texted a friend saying “this thing is gonna kill me”.

The woman eventually managed to get out of the flat and went to the Saol Women’s Refuge, where a support worker had been helping her.

When she returned a day later to collect her belongings, she saw that Reid had defecated on her bed and carpet and smashed up the furniture and a TV set.

Reid was still there and he repeatedly assaulted her again, before forcing her to pick up her social welfare payment and hand it over to him.

Justice Paul Burns said this was an atrocious violation of the victim and that Reid’s actions were deliberately intended to degrade her.

He noted that during the false imprisonment he threatened her and made demands for money. He also noted that the Probation Service assessed him as being at a high risk of committing intimate partner violence again.

While Reid made an apology in this assessment, he spoke of the victim in degrading terms and tried to deflect blame on to her, the court heard.

Mr Justice Burns imposed concurrent sentences of six and a half years for the sexual assaults and suspended the final year on conditions, including that Reid keep the peace, engage with drug addiction and alcohol abuse treatment, remain drug-free and engage with victim awareness programmes.

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