Belfast Telegraph

I've no doubt evil drug rapist will attack again, he's a danger to all women, insists victim Christine as she launches online campaign to keep predator in prison

 

By Claire McNeilly

The victim of a brutal serial rapist has said she will do everything possible to keep her attacker behind bars. Christine Jones (36) spoke of her horror at learning that the evil predator who drugged and repeatedly raped her over a terrifying 30-hour period could be back on the streets within months.

The businesswoman - who has admitted that she remains traumatised by the ordeal more than two decades later - has now waived her anonymity to launch an online campaign aimed at keeping William Dennis Fenton (60) "where he belongs."

Fenton - the first person to be convicted of drug rape in the UK following his attack on Ms Jones 21 years ago - re-offended after being released early from his 12-year sentence and was jailed again in 2013 for similar offences in Scotland.

In an emotional interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Jones called on the public to sign a petition against the habitual sex offender's release ahead of a Parole Board hearing next month.

"He is a danger to all women in society," she said.

"This is the news I've been dreading for so long. There is no doubt in my mind that he will rape again if he gets out.

"He should serve the rest of his life behind bars."

Ms Jones, right, from Belfast, was just 17 when she was groomed and subsequently attacked by Fenton.

It happened on St Patrick's Day, 1997. She had planned to go to a party but never made it because, after picking her up in his car, Fenton gave her a drink laced with drugs, drove her to his house and repeatedly raped her.

He eventually left his deeply traumatised, and still heavily-drugged, victim at the side of a road.

"My friend saved my life that day," she said.

"I went to her house and she knew what to do. I'd have been dead if she hadn't taken me to the health centre. I had so many drugs in my system I had to be pumped. I was out of it."

Her memories of that day remain hazy. She is visibly uncomfortable when recalling the ordeal.

"He picked me up to take me to a party and gave me a bottle of Bacardi Breezer, which was laced with drugs; it was lights out after that," she said.

"I woke up at his house in Islandmagee something like two days later. Then he dropped me off at the side of the road near my house. Somehow, I managed to make it home.

"I went to my best friend's house and told her that something had happened. She took me to the doctor. The police were called. They managed to collect the evidence they needed to finally put him away."

Christine, a happily married mother-of-two who now lives in Co Down with her 38-year-old husband and their twins, said she became a recluse after the ordeal.

"I went to pieces, I took fits...still, to this day, I have insomnia," she said.

"I have flashbacks and I'm haunted by memories of what happened to me.

"You can scrub your skin, you literally can take your skin off, but when something like that happens to you, no matter how many years go by, you still have the exact same feelings as you did 20 years ago. You just feel disgusting."

After "years and years of counselling" Christine said she has "learned to accept what happened" and "to address it".

But her life has once again been thrown into turmoil after she claimed the Scottish Probation Board recently told her that Fenton, from Bangor, is up for parole on October 18.

"We are not safe with this man on the streets," she said.

"He picks women up, provides them with a drink laced with drugs, rapes them, photographs them and then drops them off.

"I can supply evidence to the Parole Board in the form of a petition and that's why I'm speaking out.

"I want the public to tell Parole Board Scotland that they do not want him walking our streets.

"I need to get people to sign that petition. No woman is safe while he's on the street."

Christine said she would never forgive herself if she opens a newspaper to find that another girl has been attacked.

"I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't try to stop his release," she said.

"I went to pieces in 2013 when I read about what he'd done to those other women in Scotland.

"It felt as though everything I'd done was in vain. I sat through my court case thinking he was going away for life. What was that whole trauma for?

"What was the point of putting myself and my family through it for him to get out and do it again?"

She said she was "devastated" that he attacked four other women at his home in Ayr between June 2011 and April 2012.

"I want to do everything I can to stop him. I want to finish a job that I have to do," she said.

"Unfortunately he has put me in this position. I don't want to do this. I don't want to put my family though this again. I'm disgusted that I have to do this but I've no choice but to do this.

"If he gets out he'll come to Northern Ireland. I'll never sleep if he's on the streets. You're always looking over your shoulder.

"I don't want him anywhere near me or my children, or anywhere near any other female. Nobody should ever have to be in contact with this man. They should just throw away the key. He is disgusting."

A spokesman for Parole Board Scotland said the organisation doesn't comment on individual cases.

Speaking out is not a decision Christine has taken lightly. But she believes it's the only way to raise awareness and to beg the public to sign the petition on change.org.

"The Parole Board has to listen; they can't not hear our voices," she said. "I don't want to have to put myself and my family through this. The Parole Board granting him a date for early release has put us here. The system has put me here again. I am angry.

"What's the point if he gets out and does it again and again? There's no doubt he'll do it again.

"I'd love to know how many allegations have been made about him to date?

"Since I started the petition, other women have contacted me to say he attacked them too. My heart is broken. It goes on and on for me, my family and my friends because they relive this too."

You can sign Christine's petition by visiting the Change.org page. 

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