A sexual assault victim who bit off part of her attacker’s tongue and stored it in her mouth for DNA evidence was finally able to see the suspect convicted, and spoke out about the attack on British television.
Adele Barber, 28, was walking home from a doctor’s appointment in Dunstable, England, on Jan. 5, 2014 when she was assaulted by 28-year-old Ferdinand Manila.
“He tried to kiss me and forced his tongue in my mouth.
"I thought this has left him vulnerable, I’m just going to bite down as hard as I can and it will show it’s not consensual in any way shape or form, get as much DNA as I can and try and cause enough pain to get this guy off me,” Barber told the hosts of ITV’s This Morning.
“I fought him off as much as I could and wanted to leave as much evidence as possible on his body and my body to show that it was not consensual in any way, shape or form,” she said. Barber, who had also been assaulted 10 years earlier but was unable to convict her attacker due to a lack of evidence, was determined for this time to be different.
“I wanted to gather as much evidence as I could — under my nails, by biting his tongue — so that police could catch him,” Barber said in court.
The young woman then ran to her home and immediately preserved the evidence she’d gathered. She called police, who instructed her to place the piece of tongue in a sterile jar.
Manila, who is mentally ill, reportedly assaulted a second victim later that day. He was arrested two months later after the DNA evidence Barber provided linked authorities to him.
“It has caused serious psychological harm,” Judge Barbara Mensah said, praising Barber’s actions. “His first victim took a big risk when she bit off a part of Mr. Manila's tongue.”
Manila was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault and will be held at a psychiatric hospital indefinitely. Barber said she felt compelled to waive her right to anonymity so she could provide others in similar situations with a crucial piece of advice.
“If you can, fight back as much as you can,” she said. “Get as much evidence as you can and get to the police as quickly as you can.”