An 18-year-old girl was horrified to find out that the man who molested her at age 13 was out of jail and had moved in across the street from her home.
“I couldn't believe what I was seeing: he was outside his house, looking straight at me and smiling,” Demi Bowers,18, told the Daily Mail.
Bowers was abused by a family friend, 52-year-old John Breckon, for several months when she was 13 years old.
“I met John because my mom was friends with his mum, who lived over the road from us in Bridlington,” Bowers said. “John was older and married to a nurse called Karen, and when I found out she was pregnant I was over the moon – I love babies, and I couldn't wait to help them.”
Breckon pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail, the Daily Mail reports.
When he was released, Breckon moved into a home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, left to him by his late mother. His victim lived in the house on the opposite side of street.
“He was freed from prison in 2012 and banned from Bridlington for a year, but the day the ban ended, when I was home alone, I looked up and he was there,” Bowers said.
“I was devastated,” she said. “That man had served his prison sentence but had then got his old life back and was free to sneer at me from over the road. Yet my life was still ruined.”
Bowers and her mother Angela Kingston, 39, spoke to local police about the situation but they said there is nothing they can do.
As far as the family knows, Breckon is still with his wife, who stood by him, and their daughter who is now 5 years old.
Bowers has moved away to avoid facing her attacker each day.
“I've had to move away and I have such severe anxiety and depression that I'm on medication for both and I can barely leave the house,” she said. “I want to go to college and train to become a social worker, but my problems mean that that is a dream at the moment.
“I can't be out of the house because the minute someone stands near me, I get panicky,” Bowers explained. “My life is ruined.”
In 1994, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl was abducted and killed by a sex offender who moved in across the street from her Hamilton home. Megan Kanka’s death led to the passage of Megan’s Law, which requires authorities across the U.S. to notify residents when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
Authorities later tore down the home of Megan’s killer, Jesse K. Timmendequas, who had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting young girls before Megan's death.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / Stefan De Wit, Google Street View