I went through hell says rape victim, 71.
A PENSIONER who was raped in her home by sexual predator Anthony Murphy has said she went through "absolute hell".
The woman has told of the impact of serial rapist Murphy violently forcing himself on her in her home.
He strangled her and threatened to kill the 71-year-old woman with a "murderous look" in his eyes after befriending her at Middlesbrough bus station and developing an obsession with her, Teesside Crown Court heard.
In a moving statement read out by prosecutor Jo Kidd, the woman said: "I feel as though I've lost everything. I feel worthless. I feel sometimes like I don't even want to exist. I want to die.
"This has put years on me. I feel I have no energy and I don't want to face another day. I really struggle to sleep.
"The stress of going through the incident itself and then the build-up to court and the actual court case has been absolute hell.
"I feel really jumpy and now I can't face anyone being behind me, I'm so anxious.
"I think I will really struggle to build new relationships and my current friendships and relationship have suffered.
"I'm normally a bubbly, chatty person who would help anyone, but I feel I can't do that anymore. I feel isolated and alone."
She said her relationship with her partner suffered: "We question if we'd have done something differently Anthony might not have had the chance to do this to me. Sometimes I blank out when I start to think about what happened to me, and I just sit and cry.
"I don't think this is something I'll ever get over. Immediately after the incident I had to return to my home where this actually happened. I felt this was mental torture. I relived it over and over.
"I couldn't sleep in the bed or even go in the bedroom. I slept on the floor of the living room.
"I couldn't even sleep on the sofa as he's sat on it. I got rid of all my furniture. It all reminded me of Anthony and what he'd done to me. The house was pretty much bare."
As the months went by, she told her partner she could no longer stand being in the house.
"We got a flat quickly and I felt this place was a dump," she added.
"I'm so unhappy in this flat. We have no furniture. There's no heating.
"I just sleep on the floor. It's horrible, it's filthy and there's nowhere to put the washing out.
"As a result I'm planning to leave the Cleveland area which has been my home. I never plan to return to the area ever again.
"I would like to make a new start in an area where I'm not known and has no association with Anthony.
"Anthony has ruined my life and I don't understand how I will ever get over this."