Victim of sexual abuse ‘shook to core’ to see attacker in supermarket

·2 min read
Leah Walker says she saw her abuser in Sainsbury’s after his release from prison (BBC)
Leah Walker says she saw her abuser in Sainsbury’s after his release from prison (BBC)

A victim of sexual abuse has said it shook her to the core to see her attacker in a supermarket after his release from prison.

Leah Walker said she saw the man in Sainsbury’s after he had left prison and allowed to return to the same area where she lives.

The 32-year-old told BBC News she had been assured the man was so ill that he was housebound.

The probation service has apologised to Ms Walker and taken immediate action.

Ms Walker said she was sexually assaulted and abused from the age of seven until she was an adult.

According to the BBC, her abuser was jailed in 2017 and released into the community after serving half of his six-year sentence.

“The normal protocol is that people don’t usually go back to the area they are in if they are close to the victim. And that was the case for me,” Ms Walker said.

“His release date came and I had another phone call and they said that because of his ill health that they are happy to leave him go back to the area.”

Ms Walker, who waived her right to anonymity as a victim of sexual abuse, told the BBC she was reassured that her abuser was “of such ill health that he won’t be out of his home.”

She said: “I was constantly then looking over my shoulder, thinking, ‘Am I going to see him?’

“And then lo and behold I was in Sainsbury’s and he was walking out. And it completely shook me to my core.”

This reportedly happened a few months after the man’s release from prison.

Ms Walker also told the BBC a relative also saw the man at a nearby takeaway.

“To be able to heal, to be able to move forward, to be able to be the person I’m supposed to be, I need things in place and for him not to be in my space and stopping me from moving forward and healing,” she added.

A Probation Service spokesperson said: “We sincerely apologise for the distress caused to Ms Walker and have taken immediate action.”

“Prisoners released under supervision face strict conditions and if they pose an increased risk we don’t hesitate to return them to custody.”

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