Derby grooming victim 'would go through it again to save others'

By Jeremy Ball & David Pittam
BBC East Midlands

  • Published
Louise Murphy-Fairclough
Image caption,
Louise Murphy-Fairclough said she hopes sharing her story will help young people and their families "wise up" about social media dangers

A woman groomed by a paedophile when she was a child is trying to prevent other teenagers being exploited.

Louise Murphy-Fairclough, 19, originally from Derby, was just 13 when an older man contacted her on Facebook.

He won her trust by offering her a ride in his car and then asked her to send him indecent photos.

The police became involved and the man was jailed but Ms Murphy-Fairclough said she still had nightmares about the experience.

She has been working with Safe and Sound, an anti-exploitation charity based in Derby, which speaks to children and teenagers about the dangers of grooming.

'I got trapped'

Ms Murphy-Fairclough said her grooming began on Facebook.

"I had all these lads messaging me, telling me they only live down the road, telling me they thought I was really cute," she said.

"I lost my way; I got trapped by it."

One man in his 40s, who was posing as a teenager, exploited her love of cars by offering rides in his Audi and asked for her address.

Ultimately he persuaded her to send him indecent pictures and arranged to meet her.

Before they met, a friend alerted Ms Murphy-Fairclough's school, which got the police involved and the man was caught.

"If I had gone, I don't know where I'd be today," she said. "I was young, I was vulnerable.

"[But] in a heartbeat I would swap places with people it is happening to and go through it again so they don't have to, because it's so hard."

Ms Murphy-Fairclough has been doing outreach work with Safe and Sound. The charity's patrols are supported by the region's police and crime commissioner.

Image source, Safe and Sound
Image caption,
Louise said: "If it weren't for Safe and Sound, I don't think I would have been here [today]"

The charity's CEO Tracy Harrison said the outreach programme visited parks and other hot-spots where young people could become targets.

"I am delighted we now have the means to... work with young people to highlight the dangers they face at the hands of such individuals and groups," she said.

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