The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she thought she was going to die when the female neighbour knocked on her door, making sexual advances before attacking her in a chokehold
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A woman who says she was attacked by a neighbour in a sexually-motivated and violent assault says the alleged perpetrator is allowed to continue living near her due to a loophole in the criminal justice system.
The Hull resident, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says she thought she was going to die when the female neighbour knocked on her door, making sexual advances before attacking her in a chokehold.
The mum said the woman began making vile comments and touching her inappropriately, before “getting nasty” when her advances were rejected during the alleged incident in December.
“She started smothering me and I was gasping for air – I thought ‘this is how I’m going to die’,” she told Hull Live.
Thankfully, neighbours who had heard the noise came rushing out and restrained the woman while calling for help, reports said.
But a gap in the system means that the alleged perpetrator is still living near her and the woman says she is living in fear.
Currently in the UK, people arrested and detained under the Mental Health Act can be released if health professionals consider them no longer a risk, Hull Live reports.
But while the victim and her family agree the neighbour needs help rather than being locked up, they’ve hit out at the “systemic failure” to protect victims of sexual assault in cases where the perpetrator is mentally unfit.
“It’s totally inappropriate to be moved back as if nothing’s happened,” said the woman’s son, who wants to highlight the issue.
“Mental capacity or not, if you attack someone, authorities at the very least should have the compassion not to move you back living on the same street. The whole situation feels like a ticking time bomb.”
The victim added: “I don’t want to see her hurt or in prison, I just want her away. Does this give everyone with mental health problems a green card to do this?
“Right now I feel like a prisoner in my own home.”
Humberside Police, whose officer the victim credited as having gone “above and beyond” to help despite the force’s hands being tied, has said it is continuing to work alongside mental health services to monitor the situation.
A spokeswoman confirmed: “We were called on Wednesday, December 8 2021, with reports of a disturbance on a Hull street.
“Officers attended the scene, where a woman was detained in connection with reports of sexual assault and common assault, she has since been released whilst investigations continue.
“The officer in the case continues to support the victim and her family, making regular contact and taking steps to help her feel safe as well as making sure that she knows what is happening with the investigation.
“We are also working closely with partner agencies to ensure that the necessary follow-up action is being taken to safeguard everyone involved and prevent further incidents.”
The victim added that she had been told that her alleged attacker would now be moved to different accommodation, but the family continue to wait for further news.
Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees mental health care in Hull, was approached for comment by Hull Live.