‘Raped at 14 by a police officer’

Michelle Noble who is fighting for justice after being raped by a police officer as a child.
Michelle Noble who is fighting for justice after being raped by a police officer as a child.

Michelle Noble says she was a normal 14-year-old girl from Sutton until one day, her life was turned upside down by the violent and shocking actions of a serving police officer.

The consequences of that fateful day have altered the course of her life forever.

“I was quite vulnerable already,” said Michelle, whose parents had split up.

“I didn’t have the best home life. It was not somewhere I felt safe or wanted to be, hence looking for an older boy who was going to protect me.”

Michelle’s 18-year-old boyfriend had been sent to a young offenders’ institute and it was when visiting him that she was arrested in a case of mistaken identity.

Despite protesting her innocence she was taken straight to a police station and locked in the cells.

That evening her dad came to pick her up.

However the police said that he had drunk too much and was over the limit so he was not allowed to drive her home.

Instead, an officer offered to drop her off so she would ‘get home safe’.

“I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought ‘just get me home’,” she said.

“I had had the most traumatic, horrendous day - I couldn’t wait to get home. I was shattered.”

The house was empty when they pulled up outside, as her mum and sister were out.

Entering the house with her, the officer asked Michelle if she was going to lock the front door behind him when he had gone.

She explained that the last person home always locked the door and so, after checking she was going to be all right, he left and Michelle went up to her attic bedroom.

She said: “I was in my bedroom and the first I knew about it was I heard someone coming up the first set of stairs.

“I thought it was my sister.

“I shouted her but she didn’t answer. I shouted her again and she didn’t answer.

“I heard the first footstep on my stairs and I knew something was not right. I knew it was it wasn’t her as she would have shouted back.”

Moments later the police officer opened her bedroom door.

He told her what he was going to do and Michelle just froze.

“I literally did not know what to do. He was an adult, I was a child.

“I just let him do whatever he wanted to do.

“Then I heard my dad.”

Michelle’s dad had come round to check she was ok and was shouting her name as he ran up the stairs.

She later found out that he had seen the police officer go back into the house.

The policeman quickly pulled his trousers up and made to go behind the bed, she said.

“He put his hand on my mouth and said ‘don’t say anything. I was searching your room’. If you say anything, you will go into care’,” said Michelle.

Her dad burst into the room and went straight over to the officer.

“He didn’t speak to him. He grabbed hold of him and threw him down the stairs. Then I heard the copper say ‘I was searching under the bed’, but unbeknown to him, my bed didn’t have any casters - it was on the floor, so you couldn’t see under the bed.”

Michelle told her dad that the policeman had just been searching her room, but when her mum returned home, she told her everything.

“I was sent up to bed and then it was just up to the adults to sort it,” she said.

Her mum phoned the police and the family were kept up to date with the investigation, but Michelle was not examined by a police doctor for two days and says was also badly treated by him.

“It all seemed that they were doing as much as they could do but looking back now, I think we have been hoodwinked,” she said.

Following the complaint, a disciplinary hearing was held by Nottinghamshire Police and the officer involved was forced to resign, but no criminal charges were ever brought.

Michelle’s dad still has the letters that confirm this.

The trauma of the events left Michelle feeling angry and alone. She consequently went off the rails, was expelled from school and fell into drug addiction that lasted into her thirties.

“My conclusion was that every adult, everybody that I thought should protect me, didn’t protect me, so adults could not be trusted.

“I was very, very angry.”

It was only years later when she was at breaking point and her body was shutting down from the continued drug abuse, that Michelle, who then had three children, realised she had to turn things around,

She went into rehab and has been clean since 1999.

She started a job as a care worker and was in a long-term relationship that gave her and her children stability for several years, but when this came to an end, Michelle, who now also has a young son, realised she was suffering from depression and anxiety that stemmed from the trauma of what had happened to her.

She decided to start seeing a counsellor and work through her problems. This brought her a new-found courage that, together with inspiration taken from the victims of Jimmy Savile, meant that Michelle felt ready to again try and get justice.

Though Nottinghamshire police has said they cannot re-open her case because there is no new evidence and they do not have the paperwork from the original case, Michelle hopes that other victims will come forward and some good can come from the horrific events.

She said she knows of other victims and believes there may be more.

“I cannot allow my head to run away with it, thinking something is going to happen and he will get justice,” said Michelle.

“The police said it was dealt with at the time but that’s the point, it was not dealt with, it was brushed under the carpet.

“There’s too much that doesn’t add up that I need answers to.”

She added: “It’s not something you want to live with or think about but there certain things that trigger it.

“What I have been left with all these years is the trauma and the thoughts towards myself mainly.

“That’s healing now - I would not be doing this if it wasn’t. I hope if other people are in a place and they feel strong, they could come forward.”