Sunday, March 21, 2010

Prostitute Held Hostage by Facebook Killer has Regrets

My guilt at letting that evil man walk free: Prostitute held hostage for 15 hours by Facebook killer speaks of regret

By James Slack and Paul Sims

A former prostitute who was held hostage by Facebook murderer Peter Chapman and repeatedly raped at knifepoint during a 15-hour ordeal has spoken of her bitter regret at allowing him to walk free.

The woman, who wishes to stay anonymous, was a 26-year-old drug addict when she was picked up in Liverpool's red light district by the serial sex attacker in 2003.

He took her to a squalid flat nearby where he raped her over and over again - threatening to kill her with a 12-inch knife if she refused to give in to his depraved demands.

Chapman, then 26, was already a high-risk sex offender. He was charged with kidnap and rape but when it came to a trial she could not bear to see his face again and the case collapsed.

In October last year the double rapist, who was jailed for seven years in 1996 for attacking two other prostitutes, lured 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall to her death after 'meeting' her on Facebook.

Chapman should have been monitored by the police but had been missing from his registered address in Liverpool for more than a year.

Yesterday, as Merseyside Police referred their supervision of Chapman to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, his earlier victim spoke of her regret at not being strong enough to face court. Had he been convicted it is likely he would still be in prison and Ashleigh still alive.

'I wish I'd gone through with the trial,' she told the Mail. 'When the police told me what he'd done my initial feeling was guilt. I felt I was kind of responsible for a young kid losing her life. I didn't deserve what happened to me, but at least I was an adult and I knew the dangers of what I was doing. She was a baby.'

'I'd come to see it as closure,' she said. 'I wanted to stand up in the witness box and look him in the eyes. That way he'd know that I was the one in control now.

'He's a horrible, twisted, evil little man who should never be let out again.'

When Chapman picked her up, they agreed a £60 fee for sex.

He drove her to a nearby block of flats. Once inside the shabby apartment he told her to undress. When she demanded payment first he pulled out a knife.

'He put silver-coloured duct tape over my mouth and tied my hands together with some more. I was crying and begging him not to do it, but he was so much stronger and taller than me. I was only about six-and-a-half stone then and wafer-thin.'

Within minutes he was raping her. Bizarrely, near the end of her ordeal he told her how sorry he was and that he had not meant to hurt her. He then raped her again.

Chapman forced his victim back into the car and dropped her off close to where he had picked her up.

Detectives were able to trace him from her description of the flat.

Chapman would later be downgraded from a high-risk sex offender to medium risk. He stayed in Liverpool and began a relationship with 25-year-old single mother Dyanne Littler.

Miss Littler, who has a son but not with Chapman, ended their relationship when she discovered he was on the sex offenders' register.

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