Victims of rapist cop furious over the decision to release him after he served only SEVEN years of his two life sentences
The victims, who did not wish to be named, were disappointed and distressed as they expressed their fear that he would come after them for revenge.
Former police officer Stephen Mitchell used his position in law enforcement for five years to satisfy his own disgusting sexual fantasies. He would choose his victims very methodically and only picked female drug addicts who used to be driven to prostitution and petty theft to fuel their addiction. He would then rape them threatening them with his clout as a policeman. He also used to fuel their addiction, let them off for their crimes so he could prey on them later. This went on for quite a while before one of the victims bravely stepped forward and spoke out about the abuse. This gave courage to 30 other women to also make formal complaints against Mitchell which is when the full extent of the abuse was revealed. When he was finally reported some of the victims came forward and said that he would threaten them by saying: "I am the law. I can do anything I want."
In 2010, he was convicted of rape, indecent assault, and misconduct in a public office at the Newcastle Crown Court and was handed two life sentences. This meant he should have spent at least 15 years in prison.
Justice Wilkie had told Mitchell at that time that he was a "ruthless sexual predator" who targeted women who were "downtrodden" and living in "chaotic desperation". He said: "I am satisfied it is likely if you were at large, even though you would not hold a position of authority such as being a police officer, you would remain a danger to women for an indefinite time." The victims all thought that they were finally freed of their attacker's oppression, reported the Daily Mail. But they were proven wrong.
The Parole Board set the now 50-year-old Mitchell free after he served only seven years behind bars. He is currently living with his 75-year-old mother in Mosspark, Glasgow. The man showed no remorse for what he had done at his five-week trial and he even called all his victims "liars". In spite of him completely denying his crimes, and the fact that the judge and the psychiatrists had warned officials that he is a psychopath, he now walks free.
The decision to let him go from prison has come only months after the nation slammed officials for granting parole to the black cab rapist, John Worboys in November last year. He had served only eight years behind bars for one count of rape, five counts of sexual assaults, one count of attempted assault, and 12 counts of drugging. The authorities still believe that he is responsible for 100 crimes that took place between 2002 and 2008. The decision to let him go was overturned by the High Court because of national outcry and he is now in prison.
MPs and the victims of Mitchell have demanded that an inquiry is conducted into the case. The chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Yvette Cooper, has called for an update from Justice Secretary David Gauke saying: "This case is disturbing and incomprehensible. For someone who has committed such appalling crimes and been told they may not be released for many years, if ever, to then be released on parole after only seven-and-a-half years is just impossible to understand." The Violence Against Women Coalition has also demanded an "urgent review of how rape and sexual violence is handled by the justice system" and Rape Crisis England and Wales has said that the case is "deeply disturbing".
A 60-year-old retired dressmaker is also one of the victims who is speaking up to put Mitchell back in prison. She was the one who had first reported him to the police about 12 years ago and now she's afraid for her life because she feels he might want revenge. The grandmother was 48 in 2006 when she had been arrested by Mitchell for stealing suncream and hair dye from a Superdrug in Newcastle. She had been suffering from breast cancer at the time and her treatment left her underweight. She says that this is probably one of the reasons why Mitchell mistook her for a drug addict, who were his targets.
She said: "I was taken to the station and he led me down a dark passage. I remember thinking: 'This is odd'. He then took me to a room and sat me in a chair. He stood over me and pulled my hair hard and then it happened. I could see how excited he was getting by the power he had over me; he was loving the control and dominance. I was terrified. I told him I was very unwell with cancer but he didn’t care. I don’t know why I stole those things. It was a moment of madness and what happened afterward has wrecked my life — it’s like a nightmare I can’t wake up from."
She also said that Mitchell had let her go after she promised not to tell anyone about what happened but in the two weeks after that, he started showing up at her home and the home of her daughter who was in her 20s at the time. It was fortunate that neither of them were in their homes when this happened. She said: "I wasn’t sure what to do at first as he was a police officer and it was my word against his, but when he went to my daughter’s house, I thought: 'No, I’m not having this. He could do the same to her'. So I reported him."
Officers from the Newcastle Pilgrim Street Station, where Mitchell had been based as an officer, launched an investigation after they called other women he had arrested and found out just how many victims of his abuse there were. Even though he was acquitted of assaulting the dressmaker, she is afraid that he will go after her for revenge because she was the one who first reported him. She said: "I just can’t believe he’s been released so soon, and I am petrified. He knows it was me who made the first complaint. He’s not just capable of rape — he’s capable of murder. My ordeal lasted 20 minutes and in that time I could see how much he lost control. He was like a man possessed. And now he has nothing to lose. He’s lost his job, home . . . everything."
Mitchell's 52-year-old ex-wife, Julie, also expressed her shock this week after learning that he had been released. Their daughter had also said that the release was "an insult to the victims". Julie said: "I have been around him enough to know he can manipulate people; he has hurt people. I think he should be back inside. He should be somewhere he can’t hurt people, because outside, in the public, he will do so. I have had first-hand experience of his abuse. He’s not human in my eyes."
The Parole Board has made a statement defending its decision to free Mitchell saying: "The panel will have looked at the original evidence and any evidence of behavior change. We do that with great care, and public safety is our priority."