Clarke must go, says rape victim

A WOMAN who was dragged from the street and raped at knifepoint by a foreign criminal freed from jail has called on Charles Clarke, the home secretary, to resign.

Her attacker was allowed to go free by immigration officials who could have deported him after he finished serving a three-year jail term for robbery.

The 40-year-old mother, who has been mentally scarred by the ordeal and has undergone intensive counselling, said her attacker “did not deserve to be alive”.

She said: “It has taken me a long time to get beyond this. It is something that will always be there. Clarke must go. It is not something that he should even be considering. It is just ‘yes, you were wrong, now go’.

“This man should not even have been in the country. I only found out afterwards that he had committed other crimes and been in prison, too. It was just one unbelievable thing after another. Now this is the most unbelievable of the lot.

“What happened to me is a prime example (of incompetence). And if it has happened to me it has happened to hundreds of other people and will happen again until this government does something about it.”

The woman, a nursing auxiliary who cannot be named for legal reasons, is the first victim to speak publicly in the freed-immigrants scandal engulfing the government.

She was attacked in her home city of Sheffield by Abdulrahmam Osman, a 31-year-old Somali, a year after he had been released from a jail sentence for robbery. Osman, who has a string of previous convictions, held a knife to her throat, dragged her into bushes and raped her.

In September 2004, she had been walking home from a nightclub in the early hours with her teenage daughter. Within minutes of their parting, Osman struck. “He just chose me at random; I had never seen him before. Until he got two or three feet away from me I didn’t realise he had a knife, and he was in my face by then.

“He came at me with his hand near my mouth and the knife under my chin. He said something like ‘Shut the f*** up’ and called me a ‘bitch’. My initial thought was that he was going to kill me, not rape me. I was in shock and all I could think at the time was, ‘I hope he doesn’t hurt me’.

“He pushed me backwards and I was stumbling backwards and then that was it, I was on my back.”

The rape took place in bushes at the side of a main road. She said: “It’s hard to say how long it lasted, seconds really, but then he hung around afterwards and it was obvious he wasn’t really going to go. He actually followed me all the way to where I live.”

The woman, who feared being raped a second time, only escaped by claiming that her boyfriend was about to turn up, which eventually frightened Osman off.

Afterwards, she had difficulty coping. “At the beginning I hated him and felt that if I came face to face with him I would stab him and kill him, but now I don’t feel anything about him at all because he doesn’t deserve emotion.

“I can actually see the end of the walkway where it happened from my kitchen window. It used to remind me of what I went through every time I washed the dishes, but therapy has helped me with that.”

Source: The Sunday Times, 30th April 2006

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