"He needs to suffer": rape victim's family speak out

Dursley care worker Colin Stokes pleaded guilty to the rape of three vulnerable women at a Gloucestershire care home (4399450)

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THE MOTHER of a vulnerable woman raped by a Dursley care worker says she hopes he dies a slow death.

Colin Stokes, of St George’s Road, pleaded guilty to raping three women at Gloucester Crown Court in January.

The 47-year-old admitted raping women aged 32, 49 and 52 in a Gloucestershire care home, which cannot be named, between January 2012 and April 2013.

The offences were only brought to light when a whistleblowing staff member called the police.

Speaking to the Gazette ahead of Stokes’ sentencing on Thursday, March 20, the mother of one of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said no one should have to go through what their family had experienced.

She said: “It has just been horrendous, absolutely horrendous. You go through every emotion on the planet, from sobbing to anger to disbelief.”

She recalled the moment a social worker told her that her daughter, who has severe physical and mental disabilities, had been sexually abused.

“It was like a bombshell,” she said. “You just couldn’t understand. I think we just all went into shock mode and I sat there in a bubble.”

Her daughter, who cannot speak and has the mental age of a seven-year-old, used sign language and symbols to talk to a specialist officer about what had happened to her.

She still suffers nightmares almost a year after Mr Stokes’ arrest, waking in the middle of the night sobbing and signing his name.

Her mother said they were hoping for a life sentence, adding: “He needs to suffer like he’s made us suffer, like he made the girls suffer. I hope he dies a slow, long death.

“The guilt will always be with us. I can’t get away from the feeling that we actually put her in that place.”

Mr Stokes denied two other charges, one of a second rape on the 49-year-old woman and one of sexual assault on another woman, whose sister told the Gazette she was haunted by Mr Stokes’ face, which she sees everywhere.

She only found out about the allegations when she read the Gazette’s report on his arrest last April, a week after her sister had been interviewed by the police.

She said: “You’ve just got to put so much trust in these people. He pulled the wool over our eyes."

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