A woman who was forced to mimic porn as a child on a recently-convicted violent paedophile has opened up about giving evidence, how child sex abusers should be punished, and why she holds no resentment towards another victim for not preventing the trauma she suffered by speaking out sooner.
Abuse survivor Ellie* came from the UK to Jersey earlier this year to give evidence in the trial of ex-baker Robert George Carrel – a man who had previously been convicted of abusing her in England, and who was this month jailed for a further nine years for his crimes against another child in Jersey.
Convinced that more young girls suffered at the hands of the man she describes as a “monster”, today Ellie shares a raw account of a “dark chapter” in her life with Express to show others the importance of coming forward…
For his crimes against Ellie, Carrel was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2010, but was freed in 2016.
Pictured: Carrel was sentenced to nine years in prison by Jersey's Royal Court last week.
In August last year, he was arrested in the UK and brought back to Jersey to face up to his offending against a girl under the age of 10 in the 80s and 90s, when he was still living in the island.
During his sentencing hearing – from which he had to be forcibly removed for repeated aggressive outbursts and claims of a “witch hunt” – the Royal Court heard that the woman Carrel assaulted in Jersey remained haunted not only by the abuse, but also because she believes she could have avoided the impact on others if she had spoken out earlier.
But Ellie says she holds no resentment towards her: “At the end of the day she dealt with it the best way she could. [The abuse] didn’t happen to me because she didn’t say anything at the time. It happened to me because he is a sick individual. It’s not her fault, it’s his.”
Her words come from a place of deep empathy, with Ellie confessing she had been in a “very similar situation”.
Pictured: Ellie gave evidence in the Jersey trial tobecause she wanted the Jersey victim to get the “satisfaction” she had herself got when Carrel was convicted for the crimes against her.
“When he did it to me, I didn’t say anything and quite a few years later, it turned out he had been doing it to a little girl… with severe special needs. What he did to her was absolutely horrific, beyond what he did to me, and that guilt just, honestly, had he been inside... I felt awful.”
Ellie said she came to Jersey to give evidence in the trial because she wanted the Jersey victim – someone she hadn’t previously met – to get the “satisfaction” she had herself got when Carrel was convicted for the crimes against her.
“To go and do that all over again was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” she explained. “But I couldn’t have lived with myself if I hadn’t done it and he had got off.”
Her reasons, she admits, were partly personal. In her opinion, “he didn’t do the time that he should have done for my crime and I wanted him back behind bars.”
“I didn’t know that he was out until just before all of this was brought to my attention. I just didn’t feel safe… He is not a very nice man, he’s got a violent history. I just couldn’t live my life looking over my shoulder just to see if he’s there, and I thought, ‘If I go over there and help, at least I’ll know that he’s far away from me.’”
Pictured: Ellie thinks paedophiles should be monitored constantly after their release from prison.
Ellie said she didn’t expect Carrel to get as much as nine years given the “circumstantial evidence” and that she was “really pleased with that result.”
However, she candidly admitted that the emotional impact of his offending on her has left her feeling that he shouldn’t “be able to breathe free air again.” Another part of her, she divulges, has yet stronger feelings: “It sounds awful, but there’s a part of me hoping that he doesn’t even live out his sentence.”
Turning her attention to life after release, Ellie thinks that paedophiles - especially those like Carrel, whose “criminal record shows he has done it over and over and over” - should receive constant monitoring and that victims should be invited to attend any parole hearings for their assaulter.
While restraining orders preventing contact with children are routinely handed down by the court in child sexual abuse cases, for Ellie, there are still some difficulties. “Wherever [Carrel] is out, there’s going to be some sort of child in the near vicinity,” she notes.
Ellie also wished to express particular gratitude to Jersey Police for the support they showed to herself and her mum.
Pictured: Ellie said the Jersey Police were "absolutely excellent."
While she wasn’t told by the UK force when Carrel was released early, she says of Jersey’s unit: “Jersey Police are absolutely excellent, and they really put our police to shame. They promised that if he ever gets released, they will tell me.”
By speaking out about her experience, Ellie hopes that it might convince other potential victims to “come forward and say it.”
Although emotionally difficult, she describes giving evidence and Carrel’s subsequent conviction as an overall positive process.
“I finally feel freer now than I have done in years because it was always that thought in the back of my head, ‘Is he still in jail? Is he still alive? If he’s not in jail, where is he?’… I still have nightmares about him being out.”
“Now knowing he is over there and he’s locked up for the foreseeable future and, God forbid, if he does get out, I will be informed...
"It’s like a weight has been lifted… I just feel free.”
*Express has chosen to change the name so as to protect her identity and those of others involved in the case.
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