Colchester: Woman thanks officer after attacker jailed
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A woman sexually assaulted by someone she knew and ‘completely’ trusted has thanked her investigating officer for ‘making every day that little bit easier’.
Following a three-year investigation by officers from our Adult Sexual Abuse Investigation Team (ASAIT), her attacker was jailed earlier this week.
The offence took place on Wednesday 11 April 2018, where the woman, in her 20s, was assaulted following a night out in Colchester town centre.
Joshua Meider, 27, serving at Merville Barracks, Colchester, was arrested in connection with the incident.
Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday 8 October, he denied charges of rape and sexual assault, but admitted to the offence of sexual assault by digital penetration.
On Monday 15 November, he was jailed for two years and six months at the same court. His name will also be on the sex offenders’ register for life.
The woman he assaulted, who is choosing to remain anonymous, said:
“That night completely changed my life and I lost myself as a person. Sometimes I wake up and it feels like it was yesterday. “The first couple of months I just couldn’t accept it, it didn’t feel real. How could someone I trusted so much do this to me? I don’t think I even left my bedroom I was so miserable and depressed. “It was only when the evidence came back that it finally sunk in, that this really has happened.”
She described the past few years as ‘torture’, explaining that her attacker’s actions didn’t just affect her own life, but that of those closest to her.
“My life’s been on hold for the past three years. I lost any motivation to follow a career, do any hobbies, go out with friends. This has been the sole focus of my mind. “One of the hardest parts is knowing that it didn’t just affect me. The past few years have also been incredibly hard on both my family and friends. At every point throughout the investigation, they’ve gone through it too. Their support has been unbelievable. “I’m the youngest in my family and it was torture for them to see the mess I was in. It wasn’t just my life his actions changed. “When I got the call to say he’d been jailed, it was like a massive weight had been lifted off our shoulders. I didn’t realise how much it had held me back until now. All of us are so relieved, I can’t really put it into words.”
Although she was incredibly nervous to report the incident, she would encourage anyone who experiences something similar to tell someone.
“I was so afraid to report it but I’m so glad I did. Throughout the investigation I’ve always been treated with respect and I never felt as if my character was questioned. “As soon as DS Worton had any updates, he’d phone me. He was completely humble and so easy to talk to. “I’m so thankful for his hard work - he’s made every day that little bit easier while I’ve been going through the hardest time in my life. I have nothing but good things to say about him and everyone I’ve spoken to at Essex Police. “When something like this happens, it will be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to deal with but to have that phone call saying he’s behind bars has made it completely worth it. “Anyone that does this to another person needs to be brought to justice. It doesn’t matter who they are, it’s unacceptable. “Reporting it won’t be easy but it will help heal the trauma you’ve been through. You don’t have to go through it alone.”
Detective Sergeant Nick Worton, the lead officer for the investigation, said:
“The strength and determination the woman assaulted has shown over the past three years is extraordinary. “I’m extremely proud that the work of my team has led to Meider being jailed for his crimes but most of all, I’m really pleased to have secured justice for someone who has been through such a distressing ordeal. “Her courage has shone through from her very initial report, right up until now where she has told her story to encourage others. “She’s incredibly brave and although I know the sentencing won’t change what happened, I hope it will allow her to finally begin the next chapter in her life.”
If you or someone you know may have been a victim of crime, please report it to us.
You can call us on 101 or submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/.