David's Story Transcript
"I hated school. But I didn’t want to stay at home. I never really had anything to do. So I just started going downtown while everyone was at school. So I just walked around the shops by the market because there was nothing else better to do.
"Then one day this man just walked towards me. Pat his name was, and he just started talking to me. He said he'd seen me hanging around the shops.
"He asked me if I wanted a sandwich and some pop and, well I was starving. I didn’t have any money so I though "why not, it's free". He seemed alright. I met him a few times in town. He bought me some food. We never arranged to meet. He just sort of bumped into me.
"He said if I wanted to get out of the house for a while I could go to his and play on the Playstation. Play other people online. I said you have to pay to play online but he said it didn’t matter.
"Pat was really good and he was the best adult I knew, because he only did what I wanted to do. He never complained about anything so I went round to his house more often. Played on the XBox and played DVDs whenever I wanted. One time he tried to give me a cigarette. But I think it's daft if you smoke so I didn’t take it. I thought I'd look stupid but he said it was fine.
"He used to drink cider and said I could try it if I wanted to. He said it was ok. I thought it tasted fine. Like apples. So I started having cider whenever I went round to his.
" My Mum phoned the police when I didn’t go home, but I never told them where I went. They even sent a social worker once. My parents were always on my back. Getting on at me about school but Pat wasn’t like that. He treated me like an adult and didn’t talk to me like a child.
“At one point my Mum took my phone off me but Pat gave me another one. But he told me to keep it secret. I was spending a long time away from home. I hardly ever went to school. I started to get into trouble with my parents so I just skipped school more and more.
“Pat said if I was ever getting hassled at home I could stay at his overnight, but he said I should never tell anyone about it.
“I started staying at night. He only had one bed but he said I could have it. After a few times, one night he had to sleep in it as well because he had a bad back. Creeped me out a bit but he said we were mates so it was normal.
“But in bed Pat started to…started to touch me. He said lots of other boys do it and it was nothing to be ashamed of.
“He said if it didn’t hurt, he wanted me to touch him too. I really didn’t want to but I didn’t have a choice. I really didn’t want to go home, and it was Pat’s house so it felt like he was in charge. He said he’d done stuff for me, now it was my turn to do stuff for him.
“Look I know what I’d done wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to talk about what Pat did. Not to anybody. I felt so ashamed.
“Sometimes some of his friends came to his house and I had to let them do what Pat did. He still bought me stuff, really good stuff. But he said if I told anybody they wouldn’t believe me.
“ I wanted to stop going to his house. But he said everyone at school would know what I’d done because he’d filmed me on his phone, and he’d put it on Facebook. I tried to say I didn’t like what was happening but he said if I complained he’d get my little brother and do the same to him. I couldn’t let that happen.
“Ok. Look. I know my parents knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t say anything. I was too ashamed to tell them what was going on.
“Then one day Pat answered the door. Some police officers were there. My dad, he’d figured out where I was going and called the police. They arrested Pat and took me home. I was so relieved. I just wish I’d have said something to my parents sooner instead of letting it go on for so long.
“They weren’t mad at me. They just felt really bad that they didn’t find out sooner. This will be forever “up there”. I will never forget. I just don’t want anyone to go through what I went through.”