For nearly 15 years Fallon Marlow kept the sexual abuse she suffered as a child a secret.
Fallon was a vulnerable child who had been sexually abused when she was put into foster care.
Her new home was meant to provide a safe, secure environment for a frightened, damaged teenager but in fact provided anything but.
James Street befriended Fallon’s foster mother to gain access to and groom her daughter. For five years he met Fallon from school, took her to properties he was working on as a builder and sexually assaulted her.
As a young teenager below the age of consent Fallon naively thought she was in a relationship with Street but as a 49-year-old adult he should have known better.
He must have thought he had got away with it. That was until last year when Fallon plucked up the courage to report him to the police.
The case was quickly investigated and Street charged. He pleaded guilty at his first appearance at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court last June but what followed was tantamount to ‘secondary victimisation’.
For nine months the case was passed between courts, while lawyers tried to decide where the case should be heard because Street was originally charged with the wrong offences.
The Star attended at least five times and each time the case was adjourned.
The stress of waiting was too much for Fallon, who had to sell her cafe. Her dose of antidepressants was tripled to help her sleep and take the edge off the crippling anxiety which left her housebound and unable to function.
Lessons need to be learned – the effect of the delays on the victim was not sufficiently taken into consideration.
Yesterday, on her 30th birthday – bad timing indeed – the case was dealt with at Sheffield Crown Court. Hardly cause for celebration, but at least Street is now behind bars.