It's been a pretty scary week here this week. I live in a rural village on the outskirts of Chester, and despite having few local shops and being Mum's taxi, I enjoy livng here and have always felt it a safe place to live and bring up my boys. I have always felt comfortable going for walks alone along the country lanes, passing more energetic joggers along the way. Until this week.
A week last Wednesday, a man from Chester who had been jailed for kidnap and robbery was released on Licence after serving only two years of his sentence.
Two days later, 3pm on Friday afernoon, he kidnapped and raped a 44 year old woman, on the other side of Chester who was out jogging with her dog. She finally escaped her ordeal at midnight.
On Tuesday afternoon, the same man was spotted standing on a bridge, watching the sports day at our local high school. He ran off and was again spotted down a lane close to where we live. I had been planning on going for a walk that afternoon, on a route which would have led to the very same road. Thankfully I've picked up a virus that my son had last week and didn't have the energy to go. The police helicopter was out trying to track him but he escaped.
At the time, I didn't know anything about it so let my eldest go the local park after school with his friends. Thankfully, again, they all returned safe and sound.
The man was finally arrested last night but for a while it felt as though we were on lock down. The police issued warning that if spotted, he was dangerous and should not be approached. It's a shame someone didn't realise this before he was let out on early release. This time when they lock him up I hope they throw away the key.
My heart goes out to the poor woman who had to suffer such an horrendous attack. I doubt her life will ever be the same again.