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A tormented woman has revealed she was groomed when she was just 11 by twisted Soham killer Ian Huntley who locked her in a room and demanded sex.
Louise Tinmurth, 40, met the killer school caretaker at a fairground when he was 21 in 1993 but that she didn't know to report his abuse.
Less than a decade later the monster went on to kill Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both 10 and was jailed for 40 years for the heinous murders that shocked Britain
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Speaking to the Mirror in her first interview in 20 years, Louise, now aged 40 and a mother of five, told how her “life had been shaped” by Huntley’s abuse.
She escaped his clutches, but when social services interviewed her she said she had just been friends with manipulative Huntley.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of the murders, she has revealed how she is wracked with guilt after lying about their relationship because it meant he was free to become one of Britain’s most evil killers.
She said: “I met him at the fairground through someone I know. I was 11 and I instantly had a schoolgirl crush on him.
“He showed interest back and from there it carried on.
“He told me his name and he said he liked me. When I mentioned his age, he said, ‘It’s fine, age is just a number’. Looking back now, as a mother, it’s disgusting, completely sick.
“But at that time I thought I was in love. He was good looking and I just thought, ‘Why is he interested in someone like me?’
“He was really charming, he told me how gorgeous I am and offered me the world. He’s the first person I really loved.”
Louise began skipping school so she could spend time with Huntley over a course of two months.
She said: “My mum said she didn’t want me going but I was 11 years old, I thought I was an adult and I could do what I wanted.
“I would even run away to be with him, I’d be with him day and night. I missed school for him.
“My mum found out and police and social services got involved. They took me to be interviewed but I wouldn’t co-operate.
“I just kept denying I was in a relationship. I denied it all. I lied for him. Ian had told me to keep it quiet and not tell anyone he was my boyfriend. I told all my friends. I lied for him because I thought I loved him. I thought he was the person for me, I didn’t want him to get in any trouble.”
Louise claims within weeks of covering for Huntley, he turned violent and attacked her when she refused to sleep with him. She said: “We would just sit and listen to music but then things took a turn and things turned nasty.
“We were sat in his bedroom and he asked for sex and I didn’t want to, I said that I wasn’t ready.
“He pinned me to the wall and he was screaming. He was really aggressive.
“I was only 11 and I said that I would scream. He blocked my way but I managed to get out.
“I felt sick and humiliated because I should’ve listened to everyone. But I was an 11-year-old girl.”
Less than a decade later Huntley lured friends Holly and Jessica into his house in Soham, Cambs, in August 2002.
He is believed to have killed Holly in the bath before catching Jessica as she tried to flee.
The fiend hid their bodies in his Ford Fiesta before dumping them in woods near RAF Lakenham the following day.
Louise, who lives in Cleethorpes, Lincs, watched as the net closed in on Huntley but says she is riddled with regret over Jessica and Holly’s murders.
Louise said: “I have to live with the guilt of that. If I had opened my mouth then there’s a chance things wouldn’t have escalated like they did with those two young girls.
“My daughter knows now – I’ve had to tell her. Ian’s abuse shaped my life. Every step I take is in the shadow of what happened to me. I have to keep explaining myself.”
She added: “After everything that happened I was diagnosed with PTSD and I suffer from really bad anxiety.
“I ended up in hospital because I starved myself. I ended up anorexic. It’s had a massive impact.
“I still suffer. When his face pops up in the news it triggers it straight away. Sometimes I won’t go out the door because I’m being judged and people are looking at me. I have nightmares. I dream of the girls and I have
nightmares where I’m trying to stop him hurting the girls. It’s awful.”
Louise’s story echoes that of Emma Rawson, who the Mirror last month revealed had also been under the spell of twisted Huntley.
She lied to social workers who asked if she was having sex with him when she was 15. Speaking about Huntley, Louise said: “It doesn’t get easier.
“There are no words for him. He’s vile, he doesn’t deserve the oxygen he breathes.
“I’m really angry because it feels like it could have been avoided, that’s what’s the most upsetting.”
In December 2003, Huntley was convicted of the murders of Holly and Jessica and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, with the High Court imposing a minimum 40-year tariff.
It was only after the killer’s sentencing that it emerged he was a serial abuser who had groomed as many as nine victims.
His name cropped up repeatedly in the records of social workers and police where he had previously lived in Grimsby and Immingham, Lincs, over several years.
In most of the early cases, between 1995 and 1998, the impressionable girls were living under the pitiful delusion they were his “girlfriends”.
But despite his crimes against girls aged between 11 and 15 being reported to the authorities five times, it never resulted in prosecution.
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