On the day of the arrest the police took my phone and my laptop and the reason for this is still unclear as there was never any indication that my son had any access to them but it was the last I saw of them for 8mths and they were never used in evidence. Taking my means of communication meant I couldn’t contact anyone initially as all my contact were in my phone.

Later that same evening once the police insisted we went home to rest I used my husbands phone and contacted my best friend and also my boss. My best friend was in shock as she had been particularly close to my son and we often holidayed together. I contacted my other friend via facebook and another friend by phone. That night I sat drinking wine shaking and crying. My sister in law was still in the police station with my son and my brother was doing his best to comfort me but even in my own despair I could see the pain in his eyes worrying about me his little sister and his nephew. When my sister in law returned she explained what was happening and that my son would be interviewed again the following morning.

She told us that although he was very upset he was coping although I think she told us that to try and calm me down, I do appreciate looking back how incredibly difficult it was for her and I will never be able to repay her kindness over the 6mths to come. My brother and his wife left late that night and I don’t think I closed my eyes the tears just kept coming. I don’t think my husband and myself felt able to comfort each other and it became obvious that we dealt with things completely differently.

I count myself lucky that I have a small group of amazing friends even before this happened through any bad times in my life I have 100% trust in them. Between September and Christmas I never left the house alone always one of them was with me keeping an eye making sure I was ok and coping with whatever situation I found myself in. luckily my friend was on sick leave from the civil service and it meant she spent a lot of time with me and another friend worked mornings only and my best friend had 2 days of a week. Every morning my elderly neighbour would call and check I was ok and if I needed anything she would fetch it.

The doctor had prescribed diazepam and anti depressants’ to help me but the diazepam were to be used before a court appearance or whilst I was working which seems bizarre but in the early days it enabled me to keep working and although my friends were always in the background I often had to talk to groups of up to 100 people it helped me continue with that. I know lots of people who have found out what has been going on were shocked and surprised  because for each session I did at work I knew in my head I could collapse in a heap and cry as long as all my clients had left. quite a lot of my work is also behind a computer screen so as long as I typed the correct things no one actually knew the state I was in.

Within a few days of my son being granted bail I went to get a new phone as the police just kept saying I could have mine but then not letting us have it so I got a new one thank goodness for icloud I didn’t loose any contacts as I needed a phone to run my business. Once I got my new phone home and set upe some text messages came through that had been sent to me following my sons arrest.

One in particular was a nice message from a client of mine offering her support as her then partner was a friend of my family I thought it nice that she had bothered to send it and said if I ever needed to talk she was there, I didn’t reply for a few days but then I decided that I should I thanked her for the text and for her support and left it at that as I didn’t really want to go in to details about what had happened. She text frequently in the early days always enquiring after me and my son which I thought kind but really I had my friends who I knew were looking out for me. A few times late at night she would message me on facebook and we would chat, I told her of my fears for my son and she would trawl the internet looking for news report on the case and sending them to me in case I hadn’t seen them. I did at times find her interest in me and my son odd and quite overpowering so I tried to distance myself from her but her txt and facebook messages continued. She started saying to me that I wasn’t safe to be alone or go anywhere alone as she knew the family of the man my son had killed we going to get justice and were after me and my younger child. When I saw her in a work capacity she would have bruises on her arms and once even a black eye and would squirm in pain when sitting down and standing up but would at first not tell me how she got injured. I would see her whispering to others and it all made me feel very uneasy. She knew I often went out to the wine bars nearby on Saturday afternoons with my close friends but I would be taken down and picked back up and we would sit quietly in a corner she started asking me question about my afternoons out with my friends and again I felt uneasy she then would txt me or call me and tell me it wasn’t safe for me to be out after dark this was adding to my anxiety levels but at this point I wasn’t telling anyone what she was doing because I felt no one would believe me.

One Saturday night she txt me very late and said she needed to talk to me she said she was out but had to speak to me that night, I told her it was ok to come to the house as me and my husband were still up, I had been drinking but still knew what was going on I had maybe drank 3 glasses of wine but she had been drinking vodka and we offered her a drink she sat down and started to tell us that all her bruises were off protecting me and my younger child so she was taking the beating for us, I really was very upset but something didn’t feel right I just felt she was lying but I had no way of proving it. My husband sitting next to me seemed utterly convinced or so I thought, then she appeared to be getting txt messages and then phonecalls we were sitting opposite her and she was telling us what was going on regarding the threats. on one particular call I could see her phone as she was getting careless with it because of the alcohol she had consumed and I could clearly see her phone was on the iphone locked home screen and there was no one on the phone. I sat there wondering why she was doing this and I thought maybe she was jealous of me but for the life or me I couldn’t understand why anyone would be jealous of what we were going  through. As time went on she kept up this charade but eventually the fake calls ended and I rang her a taxi. My husband would normally take any visitors home that came to our house but I felt he shouldn’t because I was beginning to realise she was a compulsive liar and I didn’t want my husband getting accused of anything.

From this moment I knew she was lying so I tried to distance myself even more but she didn’t make it easy she persistently txt and rang me and I really didn’t know what to do. One night a mutual friend of ours that she had befriended because of me invited a few of us round for a curry  she had recently had a marriage breakdown herself and I felt I couldn’t refuse luckily my best friend had also been invited and I had told her what was going on and she didn’t doubt what I was saying luckily but neither of us had any idea of how to deal with it. I have never been any good with confrontation plus I also worried about anything I had told her about the court case which I didn’t think I had but I was extremely worried about this. The evening was ok but again it turned to her phone where she was letting me glance at text messages from someone threatening her for supposedly sticking up for me and my family. My best friend is my biggest critic but she is also my biggest fan and protector managed to get the phone for a matter of seconds and put in to her phone the number the texts were coming from I was unaware she was doing it she did it so fast. That night she was trying to get me to continue drinking with her and although I didn’t want to after my best friend was dropped off first  she got out of the taxi at my house  and asked them to come back in an hour at this point I was so frustrated that I could just say to her to go away as I knew what she was doing but my fears at the time were for my son and also for my business as I felt she knew more about my life than she should. Once we got in to the house my friend txt me to tell me she got the number from her phone and it was her own number she had been txting herself!! she had been for weeks showing me these txts I was now so scared, I had been becoming increasingly anxious and there I was sitting with someone who was doing her best to send me round the twist and I had no clue what to do. I attempted to distance myself further which proved difficult as she had befriended people to do with my job and especially a good friend of mine who had recently been diagnosed as having breast cancer she was being especially friendly to my friend I really was in a position as I didn’t know what to do for the best. Before long she was telling me that she had appointments as they thought she had something wrong with her but at the same time telling my friend that she had also been diagnosed with cancer. At this point she hadn’t told me but said she was getting the results on a particular day whilst I was going to be on holiday, I was pretty sure she was lying but again I couldn’t t be 100% sure. Whilst I was on holiday the text messages continued keeping up the pretence that she waiting on the test results that she was already telling others she had received. A couple of times she face timed me weeping and wailing down the phone and eventually saying she had her test results telling her she had cancer I was finding it hard to be sympathetic as I was sure it was all a lie. Once I returned home i had a organised a fund raiser for my other friend and we raised over five thousand pounds for breast cancer research I enjoyed doing it as it gave me a focus and I was really proud of the money we had raised but even before the night and on the night she was making little comments to me how I cared about my other friend more than her and how I should be raising money for more than 1 type of cancer as hers was cervical but in the next breath she was not telling people she had it just a couple of people connected to me. After the fundraiser I made a decision that I would just ignore her as best I could I the hope she would get bored and leave me alone.

Once I stopped giving her any attention it all went quiet she stopped attending my group as a client so I started to relax although not entirely happy about my friend who actually did have breast cancer but even in a weird type of way she was supporting her.

For several months I allowed it to continue as I really had no strength to deal with it I just hid away. Im ashamed to this day that I didn’t find the strength sooner than I did because although my friends believed me and knew what was going on I was so scared of her not physically scared but mentally I felt she was playing sick  games with me.

I also found out that many years before she had lied to lots of people about having leukaemia  but again how could I prove it?s

I was having a gathering at my friends house because she was the caretaker of the TA centre as a thank you to the people who helped me at my groups, I love to cook so I said I would cook for the 30 people who were attending I have always found cooking quite therapeutic, the evening was a great success everyone enjoyed the curries, paellas and the party games and some people drank more than others. She was invited as it had been arranged for a while and as one of the people who were helping me I couldn’t really get out of it but with so many other people there I didn’t really need to have much to do with her. The end of the night came and taxis were ordered and off she went with others. She contacted me the next day and said after she got home her ex partner was babysiting and he had violently raped her after she had done on many occasions before. It is her ex partner who is a friend of my family and they has only split up some months before I would never want to accuse any woman of lying when they say something so horrific as being raped but I didn’t believe a word of it.

One Saturday evening I spoke to a member of my team who I hadn’t seen for a week or so and I asked her if she was ok and it all came out she told me she couldn’t be around this lady because for months the phone calls and messages had been so persistent they were making her ill, at this point I had no idea that the phonecalls and messages were all about me. She said she wasn’t the only one it was happening too and was sorry for telling me when she knew how much I had on my plate already, I felt so guilty that I had introduced all of these people but yet she was affecting us all in this way I arranged to meet with the 2 people that she had been recently focusing on but nothing could prepare me for what they were telling me.

From the day she found out about my son she had been letting everyone know on a daily basis what was happening with his bail the court case etc when in fact im not sure she really knew much because im quite a private person but I had worried myself that maybe she had read witness statements when I was out of the room. She had told everyone at my groups she was my best friend and that I was wrecking her life with my constant drink binges constant texting and phone calls. She told people many stories about me and how I shouldn’t be allowed to be a mother I wasn’t cooking cleaning or looking after my daughter, she also said she had no idea how I could continue to work as she was at my house till 5 am in the mornings often having to shower me as I was so drunk. None of this was true as I really am a stickler for personal hygiene and my appearance a bit of lippy can make me feel like I rule the world!!!she said I didn’t cook for my daughter which is particularly insulting as I love to cook and amongst my friends they know if they need fed just to stop by my house I will always provide them with a meal so her saying I didn’t or wasn’t capable of cooking very upsetting. On Thursdays I would leave for work at 7.45am and no matter what even on the worst days I would shower put a full face of makeup and dress smartly so to find out she was saying she had to shower me was bad enough but she told my clients she didn’t know how I looked so alive as she had been trying to prize a vodka bottle out of my hand till 5 am that morning!

At my groups there were several people who were helping me but also talking about my sons case and various other things about my life I felt weak and unable to deal with any of them but it does not mean I didn’t know who they were. to this day I know the people who added to my stress back then and those who genuinely cared about me and my family. it never fails to amaze me how some people can almost glee in delight at someone else misery and the lengths people will go to in an attempt to have my life!

I would now say to each and everyone of them

‘before you judge me by my life my past or my character…. walk in my shoes walk the path I have traveled live my sorrow, my doubts, my fear, my pain, and my laughter….

REMEMBER Everyone has a story when you have lived my life then you can judge me

I was so angry at the time of all this happening in my place of work but angry was a good emotion for me as for months all I had felt was fear and despair. After the ladies told me what she was doing in my group I decided there was no way I was going to allow her to do to others what she had done to me and almost immediately she stopped contacting me or the other ladies I don’t know if all of a sudden she realised our cold attitude towards her meant she had been rumbled. Her relationship had broken down months before and it as her ex partner who had been a friend of my family for 30yrs I asked if he would meet me and he confirmed what I already knew that she was lying and lied about almost everything in life.  I was enjoying not having contact with her although the scars of what she had done to me were still evident in how scared I was to go out or even be alone at home. My friend who genuinely does have breast cancer contacted me and asked if me and my other friend would like to go to lunch with her, I was hesitant as I had distanced myself even from her because I felt guilty for not being able to tell her what was going on but she was in the middle of chemotherapy it wouldn’t be fair on her. Out of the blue she said in a text was it ok if she invited * I panicked but my other friend who was coming along too said there would be no way she would have the brass neck to come in case we let the cat out of the bag and she w1as right she didn’t come. Half way through our meal and out of the blue my friend with breast cancer  said almost in a light humoured way `what has happened between you and *` Although I had no intention of telling my friend I also wasn’t prepared to lie my pet hate is liars and she wasn’t turning me in to one so I began at the beginning but unfortunately my friend said that she did have cancer and seemed to disbelieve me and said look at how much she had stuck up for me with the family of the dead man my other friend backed up everything I was saying and before we parted company I think she believed us although she was in shock and felt like we did in the early days. She decided she would do as we had done which is distance herself from her but I still wasn’t convinced she 100% believed us which made incredibly sad as our friendship has certainly suffered and I know she is still friends with the person on facebook but that is now out of my hands I have tried.

I contacted her ex partner after bumping in to his sister and talking to her about it, she confirmed she was definitely lying about the cancer and many other things. I asked him if he would meet me and he readily agreed. When we met I started to tell him what had been going on and he shook his head and almost hung his head in shame that she had been tormenting me in such a way, he didn’t doubt anything I was telling him and I took comfort in that as we had been friends such a long time. It took such a lot for me to talk to him as I was in a bubble of only trusting those who had been round me from the beginning because look what happened when I let someone else in to my life. I told him that he had a right to know the things he was saying about him and that he had repeatedly raped her and one of the dates was the night of my party. He surprised me by telling me she had returned from my party again covered in bruises on her legs and thighs telling she had been raped after my party by someone called * . I felt sick because the only man at the party by that name was my eldest son who was home on leave from the Air Force . I assured him that my son had only dropped in for a short amount of time and left with my husband, she never confronted me with this allegation or repeated it to anyone else. I know my son was not alone with her even for a second but this was even more scary for me as I wasn’t sure when this was going to stop. I wish I had wrote a diary of all the things this woman did to me as im not sure I am able to fully remember everything or give a good enough account of how it has affected me. I wish now I had went to the police as I still do have messages proving all the things she was saying about taking beatings on my behalf etc. I think she knew how scared I was of the police so maybe she knew I wouldn’t report it. Hatred is a thing I don’t often feel about anyone as I do think im a caring loving person but I can honestly say I hate this woman hopefully one day as I get stronger those feelings will pass as I do believe she has mental health issues I mean no normal person would do the things she did but at the moment I don’t feel sympathy just pure hatred.