"I knew my voice had to be heard": Leyland rape victim speaks out about impact of boyfiend who "chose to be a monster"

A woman who was raped by her boyfriend “who chose to be a monster”, has spoken out in a bid to help other women.
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Matthew Nicholson, 36, of Bexhill Drive, Ingol, was jailed for nine years for rape and sexual assault on September 15 at Preston Crown Court.

During the rape in December 2021, the woman said she froze as Nicholson carried on after she told him to stop, not wanting to shout out because her 14-year-old daughter was in her nearby bedroom.

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She said since then her world had been "turned upside down", but said she will "use her voice for the rest of her life" to help women feel empowered to take their attackers to court.​

Convicted rapist Matthew Nicholson, 36, from IngolConvicted rapist Matthew Nicholson, 36, from Ingol
Convicted rapist Matthew Nicholson, 36, from Ingol

The mum-of-two slammed Nicholson for not pleading guilty to the offences, saying: "Why didn’t you just admit what you did to me? Why drag me through a trial?”

She said: "Getting up on that stand was the most terrifying, awful thing I have ever experienced", and that having her police interviews played to the jury made her feel "dirty" and "degraded".

But despite wanting to walk off the stand, she didn't, because "I knew my voice had to be heard, not many women’s voices get to trial."​

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The pair met through mutual friends and began swapping messages on social media before embarking on a nine-month relationship, but it quickly turned sour.

The woman, who is from Leyland, said that the morning after the attack, she lay in bed in "absolute shock."​

She said: "I went into the deepest depression I’ve ever experienced. I even think some days what is the point of living? I can’t take the feelings or thoughts that I feel for the rest of my life."

The woman said she lost her job as it was across the road from where Nicholson lived, and she was fearful of him coming in and harassing her.

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As well as the prison sentence, Nicholson has been ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and been made the subject of a 12 year restraining order to protect his victim.

In her submission to court, she said he "chose to be a monster" and does not seem "one bit remorseful or show one ounce of empathy" for what he did.

The victim wants other women to know speaking out can lead to successful convictions.