Mother of girl who was raped in a Nottinghamshire cemetery says she 'blames herself'


Mother of 13-year-old who was raped in a Nottinghamshire cemetery says she ‘blames herself’ for being late to the school run, as police issue renewed call for information on the 2019 attack

  • The girl, 13, was walking alone when the stranger approached her in Retford
  • He held a knife up to the girl on a bridge and told her to follow him into bushes
  • The girl’s mother said it was ‘so hard to listen’ to and she has tried to move on  
  • The mother said her daughter’s ‘innocence was stolen’ on 13 December 2019
  • Footage of a man walking close to the cemetery, around the time, was released 


The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was raped in a Nottinghamshire cemetery says she ‘blames herself’ for being late to the school run, as police issue a renewed call for information on the 2019 attack. 

The girl’s mother explained that it was ‘so hard to listen’ after hearing about the horrific crime in which her daughter’s ‘innocence was stolen’.

She added that she was trying to move-on but she ‘blamed herself’ for being late to pick her daughter up from the school. 

The 13-year-old then decided to walk home through the cemetery instead. 

BBC show Crimewatch showed a reenactment of the incident, in Retford, where a man holding a knife went up to the girl on the cemetery bridge and told her to follow him into the bushes. 

And CCTV has been released by police showing a man walking nearby the cemetery at the time. 

Last November, police released CCTV footage of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an investigation into rape in Nottinghamshire

Last November, police released CCTV footage of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an investigation into rape in Nottinghamshire

Key forensic evidence was found at the scene near Babworth Road, Retford

Key forensic evidence was found at the scene near Babworth Road, Retford

In the reconstruction, the girl is walking through the cemetery over a bridge when she saw the man ‘walking towards her’. 

He told her not to make a sound and then he raped her. 

Speaking two years after the incident to Crimewatch, her mother said: ‘It feels like my fault because I was five minutes late.

‘If I was on time she wouldn’t have been hurt, I blame myself.

‘I’ve noticed my daughter is quieter since the incident, she’s a strong girl but I know it has affected her.

‘When this happened my daughter was just 13, what happened took that 13-year-old girl away.’ 

The CCTV footage shows a man, who police want to speak to, walking along Leafield, close to the cemetery, around the time the victim was attacked

The CCTV footage shows a man, who police want to speak to, walking along Leafield, close to the cemetery, around the time the victim was attacked

Key forensic evidence was also found at the scene in Babworth Road, where the incident happened at around 3.30pm on Thursday, December 12, 2019 - the date of the General Election

Key forensic evidence was also found at the scene in Babworth Road, where the incident happened at around 3.30pm on Thursday, December 12, 2019 – the date of the General Election

Officers launched a renewed appeal for information on BBC Crimewatch this morning after releasing CCTV footage of a man they'd like to speak to in November

Officers launched a renewed appeal for information on BBC Crimewatch this morning after releasing CCTV footage of a man they’d like to speak to in November 

Key forensic evidence was also found at the scene in Babworth Road, where the incident happened at around 3.30pm on Thursday, December 12, 2019 – the date of the General Election.

Nottinghamshire Police had previously described the attack as a serious sexual assault but officers have since confirmed the victim was raped.

It launched a renewed appeal for information on BBC Crimewatch this morning.  

CCTV footage, released in November, shows a man, who police want to speak to, walking along Leafield, close to the cemetery, around the time the victim was attacked. 

Det Sgt Neil Allsop, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘This case may now be over two years old but the date may well stick in people’s minds as it coincided with the 2019 General Election.

‘Did you see anyone acting unusually in the area – either on that Thursday afternoon or on the days either side of the incident?’

A £1,000 reward for information that helps catch the person responsible is being offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers. 

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