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It Could Have Been You

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In court, she was only a witness, and was not allowed to discuss the case with the prosecuting barrister. Merlyn, who married her boyfriend Andrew Bignall last year and lives in London, is optimistic that the report will lead to a change in the way the legal system deals with rape victims. Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary, David Blakey, said: "It's not perfect at any stage of the process.

Merlyn's sister and co-author, Sharon Morrison, felt compelled to move to the country, for example, while Merlyn lost her best friend, Valerie. But anyone who has forgotten the headlines in February 1992 - along the lines of "Sex fiend slashes girl's throat" - can check the hideous details in the book.

She survived thanks to a squatter who raised the alarm and a fireman who held her neck together until an ambulance arrived. It is being serialised in a national newspaper, and has been described as "a story of the triumph of the human spirit". She was told to fill in forms on her own, yet knows that acting alone she would have won only a fraction of the pounds 76,101 awarded to her after Helena Kennedy represented her, gratis, at the board hearing (where legal aid is not available). It's easy for people to look at me now and say it can't have been that bad," she says, sitting in the south London flat she shares with her boyfriend.

But for those close to her, however, who had seen her horribly disfigured (albeit temporarily) by the attack, and who knew a few of the details, it was difficult to acknowledge "luck". The report highlights a catalogue of serious failings in the way victims are treated at every step of the criminal justice system. It seems clear from reading the book that Merlyn survived the attack rather better than some friends and relatives, partly because of her euphoria at simply being alive.Biography: Merlyn Nuttall worked in the fashion business before the attack and has also lived in Gibraltar where she ran a restaurant. Entertainment Magpie Limited t/a Music Magpie is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 775278. Forty-five minutes later, naked, bleeding from throat slashes, Merlyn, near death, was on the front steps of the house trying to summon help. Read more about the condition New: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages.

She is in a happy relationship with boyfriend Andrew Bignett, but the mental scars of her ordeal remain. Octavo Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing.However, a report this week shows that many women and men who are raped very rarely see their attacker punished in the courts. She was extremely distressed by her injuries, she was terrified of seeing her attacker again, she wanted to escape. Some terminology that may be used in this description includes: Spine The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The majority of pages are undamaged with some creasing or tearing, and pencil underlining of text, but this is minimal.

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