AddThis SmartLayers

Women waive anonymity to tell of sex assaults

The Halesowen News has carried first person stories from two indecent assault victims after they agreed to waive their anonymity to tell their tale in the paper.

They came forward after a perverted plumber walked free from court despite clocking up his third conviction for indecent assault.

He had previously served a custodial sentence which the judge felt had “a dramatic effect” on his life, so imposed a community rehabilitation order.

The News saw an opportunity to run the women’s story after one of them called the paper to get the plumber’s advert pulled from its pages. She was put through to editorial and spoke to chief reporter Sharon Hockley.

The victims both agreed to talk to reporter Liz Hazelton after the court hearing had concluded.

It was when sex attacker Anthony Purnell, (47), of Alexandra Road, Halesowen, walked free from Wolverhampton crown court that victims Alison Briggs and Samantha Shaw became determined to tell their story.

They spoke exclusively to the Halesowen News to lift the lid on Purnell’s crimes.

The community sentence came as a bitter blow for two women intent on seeing justice done, one who had waited nearly 20 years for her day in court.

Alison – his sister-in-law – came forward after the previous court case to reveal he intimately touched her while giving her a driving lesson 20 years ago, when she was 17.

She told readers: “My husband has known since 1992 and it has caused us some trouble. We’ve come through it now and we’re stronger.

“The good thing is I’ve gone all one way since then – I just keep trying to improve myself and my family life.”

Samantha, attacked while getting plumbing work done at her home, said: “At the moment I’m just angry he hasn’t got a prison sentence but I don’t believe it would have made any difference.

“I’ve changed since then – I’m a mess. I don’t go in crowded buildings. I used to talk to anyone and now I don’t want to see people I don’t know. I just want to back in a corner and I used to be really confident.”

The paper is no longer running Purnell’s advert.

Back to the law index

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
e-mail [email protected]