Durham Rape Victim Tells Of Her Ordeal

21 April 2015, 05:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A rape victim from County Durham has spoken of her disgust after the man who brutally attacked her served less than half of his sentence then rang her when he got out of prison.

Gemma Redhead, who has bravely waived her right to anonymity, was sickened when she received the call after she thought
she had put his abuse behind her.

Philip Kirby, who raped her at knifepoint after she ended their relationship, had been given an eight-year jail term with a five year extended licence period in April 2011.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard the 32-year-old was released in November 2014 and contacted his victim's phone last month after drinking vodka.

Kirby, of Newcastle, had been given a restraining order which banned any contact with his terrified victim for the rest of her life after the knifepoint attack in 2010.

But the 46-second call he made during which he asked to see their child has left 33 year old Gemma, who has post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her rape ordeal, scared to leave the house and unable to sleep or eat.

Speaking after the case she said:
"As soon as I heard his voice I realised who it was, and it disturbed something deep down inside of me. It reawakened all of the fear and terror of the attack.

But at the same time I wasn't surprised. I had always felt as though he would come after me once he was released."

You can hear Capital's Martin Lindsay's interview with Gemma below:

The court was read an victim impact statement in which Gemma, who was in an abusive relationship with Kirby which lasted for eight years, said
"I feel nervous and anxious about the impact Kirby had and is still having on the life of me and my four children. We tried so hard to rebuild our lives after he virtually destroyed it.

He will never leave us alone. We just can't escape him. We feel trapped by his behaviour. Why can't he just leave us alone to get on with our lives? I just want my family to be left in peace.

I have struggled with post traumatic stress disorder, taking medication, in an attempt to control the symptoms. I have seen
counsellors and had cognitive therapy. It is a daily struggle and an ongoing battle to deal with this.

I am still full of fear. I would like to be free of fear and not constantly worrying about his next release date."

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced him to six months for breach of the restraining order, which he admitted.

The court heard Kirby is not now eligible for release until 2023.

In August 2010 Gemma, of Consett, County Durham, had decided to leave Kirby, with whom she had a child

But after they separated, Kirby refused to leave Gemma alone, begging her to take him back.

And one morning Kirby turned up on her doorstep and talked his way into the house, before raping her at knifepoint.
At first, Kirby, of Moorhead, Cowgate, denied raping his partner.

But on the first day of his trial at Newcastle Crown Court in January, he changed his pleas and admitted four counts of rape.