Victim's family in the dark about rapist

A RAPE victim's mother today told of her disgust after discovering by chance that her paedophile attacker was to be freed and allowed to return Ipswich without her knowledge.

A RAPE victim's mother today told of her disgust after discovering by chance that her paedophile attacker was to be freed and allowed to return Ipswich without her knowledge.

The woman said she was astounded not to have been informed Selwyn Duberry was being released after serving less than three years of a six-year jail term for raping two girls under 16.

The mum-of-four, who can not be named to protect the identity of her daughter, said: “I went to the shops on Sunday night to buy milk and some cigarettes and there was a girl who is a neighbour of his father. She said 'how do you feel about Selwyn coming out tomorrow?'.

“I was totally, totally astounded. I didn't think I would hear that from someone I didn't know very well. She said the family were round at his (the father's) house having a celebration party and that's how I found out.”

The Probation Service today pledged to review its procedures over how it contacts victims to ensure those who want to know when offenders are to be released are kept informed.

And one of the service's most senior officers in Suffolk today described the situation as “unfortunate”.

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Steve Pestell, assistant chief probation officer for the Suffolk Probation Area, revealed that a decision had now been made to house Duberry outside of Ipswich “at this stage”, partially as a result of the victim's concern over his release.

The move came after his victim's 46-year-old mother claimed the Probation Service had not contacted her since Duberry, who lived in Poppy Close, Ipswich, was sentenced.

She said: “I didn't know where he was going to stay or anything. I could have been walking to the shops tomorrow morning and walked straight into him. That's the concern of me and my family

“If you know you are prepared, but if you don't you crumble very easily.

“People don't understand. It's not how many years they (paedophiles) get, it's the repercussions when they come out. What am I supposed to do now and who am I supposed to turn to?

“I feel like my life does not belong to me anymore and I can't do the normal things at the moment. I feel like I have to stay inside with my children to keep them safe.”

Her daughter has now moved away from the area but still carries the mental scars of her abuse.

The mother said: “She is extremely upset. It's just brought it all back to her. She is a little older now, but I don't think she has overcome anything that happened to her.”

The mother, who lives in Ipswich, stressed she did not blame the police for not informing her of Duberry's release, but finds it hard to believe the Probation Service seemed unaware of it until she telephoned one of their officers.

She said “A man at the Probation Service said he had no idea who I was or Selwyn was, but said he should have known about this case.”

The Probation Service today pledged to review its procedures after a letter sent by the woman's daughter asking to be told when Duberry was to be released did not reach the officers handling her case.

Mr Pestell today said the service had a duty to contact victims in cases of serious sexual and violent offences in order to give them information about the offender, his/her sentence and to consult with them regarding release arrangements.

He added: “We contact victims shortly after the offender has been sentenced and it is our policy to write on two occasions at that stage inviting contact.

“If the victim does not respond to these two invitations then we do not pursue contact as clearly some people do not want to be reminded of the offences and our contact could potentially 're-victimise' them.”

However Mr Pestell today said that it was accepted that the woman had responded to their first letter in early 2003 asking to be told about Duberry's release arrangements. He described the situation as “unfortunate”.

Mr Pestell said: “Unfortunately we have no record of receiving her response and it is highly regrettable that this has meant that she has not had the service we would have wanted her to have.

“I can confirm, however, that immediately we became aware of this situation we have made a visit to discuss matters and she will now receive our full victim contact service.”

IN January 2003, Ipswich Crown Court heard Duberry, then 38, of Poppy Close, raped the first girl between February 2000 and January 2001.

Christopher Morgan, prosecuting, said Duberry pleaded guilty to two counts of raping the first girl but these were only specimen counts.

Mr Morgan said Duberry, a car valeter, plied the girl with alcohol such as brandy and got her “stoned” before raping her.

The court heard another girl was also lured to Duberry's flat where she was given brandy and cider and encouraged to smoke cannabis.

Duberry pleaded guilty to three counts of rape.

However, he denied raping the first girl repeatedly throughout 2001 and pleaded not guilty to raping a third girl under the age of 16.

These pleas were accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service and the not guilty pleas were to remain on file.

Naomi Perry, mitigating, said although her client had a bad criminal record he had not been in any significant trouble since 1988 and had no previous convictions for sex offences.

Judge John Devaux heard Duberry had left his second victim particularly “shocked and traumatised”.

He ordered Duberry to sign the sex offenders register and told him he would have to inform the police of his whereabouts for the rest of his life. He then sentenced him to six years in prison with an extension period of four years.

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