Sentencing and Victim Impact statements
I was watching twitter last night, waiting to see details of what I would be missing in court. I’m back in Texas, and couldn’t attend the start of the sentencing. I had only written my Victim Impact Statement several hours before, and emailed it to the DPP. I had been putting it off. It was incredibly hard to write. Way more confronting than what I expected. I left me feeling raw and exposed. It was a big milestone for me though, because I actually asked one of the people in my office, a former police officer, if I should write it at all, and when he said yes, I took a deep breath and asked if he would help. I’m not good at asking for help. He knew how hard that was for me. He warned me that it was going to be tough, because this wasn’t so much about Robert, as it was a confession to myself. It was going to be hard admitting all those feelings on paper, to say that it has affected me. I’ve been good at hiding it and pretending everything is OK. I had to actually sit down and really think about the ways Robert has changed my life, and acknowledge it.
I only wrote 2.5 pages. My 1SG only had me change a couple words, and flip one sentence, and thought it was good. I didn’t show it to anyone else here though. I worried about it being read out in court. They all were, and while I was worried, I think afterwards I was glad people could see what an impact Robert has had on all of us. I was reading the live tweets. I was outside with Matt, and all he heard was, “Oh God”, and turned around to see a tear rolling down my eye. I read him the line from one of the other girls. It says, “As a child, I never wanted Santa to come into my room at night to leave presents”
I think this may be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. I don’t believe in God, but I love Santa. To think a child was so terrified of people they didn’t even want Santa to come at Christmas is just fucking heartbreaking. I’m sure Robert is too arrogant to care that he broke little pieces off all of us, but I hope he was listening yesterday. I hope when he gets back to prison, he understand our words. I hope he comes to understand the meaning of No Means No, and what it’s like to be terrified of being assaulted by someone else who is higher up the food chain in prison.
I was watching the tweets, and Jodie told me “Very intense stuff. Lots of parallels between different victims’ statements re: effects and feelings”. One man had such a profound effect on so many people. I wonder how many other girls he has destroyed. There were more of us. Some came forward and couldn’t get charges, some chose not to be a part of the process. Some are still living in denial, because that’s easier for them. I won’t judge anyone. People have to deal with it the best way they know how.
While Robert wasn’t sentenced yesterday – he comes back on the 16th for the final sentencing, Max Clifford also went to court yesterday.
He was sentenced. He has been given eight years. Max’s charges were also historical, and much shorter than if he were to be charged for offenses now. It was interesting to read snippets of the statements that were given in his case too. I had stated that because of Robert, I could never go back to the industry. One of Max’s victims had similar sentiments: A woman who appeared as an extra in the James Bond film Octopussy had given up on pursuing her career after she was abused in the early 1980s, the court heard. “She aspired to be a stunt double in films but could not follow her dream after what happened to her,” Ms Cottage told the court.
Both sets of girls told of how they would never forget what happened, how they had been robbed of their innocence. How they had their happiness stolen from them. I’m glad that laws have changed, and that sentences are longer now. Victims have to live with it forever. Why should the bastards only get a couple of years?
I told Matt yesterday I just wanted this to all be over. I don’t want to wait another 2 weeks. He said it’s been 4 years, what’s another 2 weeks? I know in the long term, it won’t make much difference. Maybe it’s good, because now Robert has 2 weeks to sit in his cell and think about all the things we said. But I do look forward to when I don’t have to worry about seeing it on the news. When I don’t have to sit glued to my desk, watching it all unfold. I know I could just step back, but I can’t. I know that Robert will always have a part of my soul, but I’ll be glad when he no longer has a part of my daily dealings with life. I’m sure there’s a few of us that are looking forward to the 16th. I know he won’t get a long sentence. It’s all historical. I do hope they give him the maximums for those old sentences though. Maybe then, he can live the rest of his life being affected by us, they way we’ll all have to carry a piece of him to our graves.