Victim thanks officer after man who sexually assaulted her is jailed

Soldier Joshua Meider sexually assaulted a woman after a night out in Colchester

Soldier Joshua Meider sexually assaulted a woman after a night out in Colchester - Credit: Essex Police

A woman who was sexually assaulted by someone she "completely trusted" has thanked her investigating officer for "making every day that little bit easier".

This comes as her attacker was jailed after a three-year investigation. 

Joshua Meider, 27, who was serving at Merville Barracks, Colchester, was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment, and his name was put on the sex offenders' register. 

Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court, he denied charges of rape and sexual assault but admitted to sexual assault by digital penetration. 

The victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said: “That night completely changed my life and I lost myself as a person. Sometimes I wake up and it feels like it was yesterday.

“How could someone I trusted so much do this to me?"

She described the years since the attack as "torture", explaining that her attackers actions severely affected her family.

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“My life’s been on hold for the past three years. I lost any motivation to follow a career, do any hobbies, go out with friends. This has been the sole focus of my mind.

“The past few years have also been incredibly hard on both my family and friends.

"At every point throughout the investigation, they’ve gone through it too. Their support has been unbelievable.

“I’m the youngest in my family and it was torture for them to see the mess I was in. It wasn’t just my life his actions changed.

“When I got the call to say he’d been jailed, it was like a massive weight had been lifted off our shoulders. I didn’t realise how much it had held me back until now. All of us are so relieved, I can’t really put it into words.”

Although she was incredibly nervous, the victim would encourage anyone who experiences something similar to come forward. 

“I was so afraid to report it but I’m so glad I did. Throughout the investigation I’ve always been treated with respect and I never felt as if my character was questioned.

“As soon as DS Worton had any updates, he’d phone me. I’m so thankful for his hard work.

“When something like this happens, it will be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to deal with but to have that phone call saying he’s behind bars has made it completely worth it.

“Reporting it won’t be easy but it will help heal the trauma you’ve been through. You don’t have to go through it alone.”

Detective Sergeant Nick Worton, the lead officer for the investigation, said: “The strength and determination the woman assaulted has shown over the past three years is extraordinary.

“I’m extremely proud that the work of my team has led to Meider being jailed for his crimes but most of all, I’m really pleased to have secured justice for someone who has been through such a distressing ordeal.

“Her courage has shone through from her very initial report, right up until now where she has told her story to encourage others.

“She’s incredibly brave and although I know the sentencing won’t change what happened, I hope it will allow her to finally begin the next chapter in her life.”