Rape victim, 12, killed herself after police discouraged her from pressing charges
A 12-year-old rape victim killed herself after police visited her home and discouraged her from pressing charges.
Semina Halliwell, from Southport, was allegedly raped by an older boy after being groomed over Snapchat before her death on June 12, 2021.
The schoolgirl broke down when informing her mother Rachel of the horrific ordeal following a self-harm incident.
However, family members have claimed she was told by detectives she would not “want this thing hanging over her head” as the case “wouldn’t go to court for 18 months to two years”, The Telegraph reports.
The family say Semina was “made to feel like she was an inconvenience” to Merseyside Police and no charges were brought against the alleged offender, whom she had named.
Semina’s mother, Rachel Halliwell, and aunt, Clare, said the lead detective investigating her allegations instead “sat there and started talking about all the forms he’d have to fill in if she made the complaint” and the length of time it would take him.
Semina’s aunt and her mother Rachel
The detective is also said to have told the family that it would be “your word against his”, with relatives later telling Sky News that the police force did not inform her school of the alleged incident – despite assurances that safeguarding would be put in place.
Instead, the family say Semina was forced to stay at home in order to avoid coming into contact with the alleged offender.
Semina, who had autism and found it difficult to express herself to strangers, was subsequently subjected to online and offline abuse and violent assaults after reporting the incident.
Semina and her mother
Her family believe these assaults were carried out by associates of the alleged suspect and claim Merseyside Police failed to fully investigate the allegations.
Rachel said the family received threats they were “going to get their heads kicked in” if they approached police, with Semina later filmed while being assaulted at school.
But the family again claimed officers did nothing to probe the assaults.
Two girls were prosecuted for assault, while Semina’s mother was convicted of an offence after her daughter named the alleged offender.
In a later interview with police in the living room of the family home, three months after the initial allegations were raised, Semina said “I’ve had enough of this” and went upstairs.
Unknown to her family, she went upstairs to take her own life by lethal overdose.
Paramedics rushed to the scene after the family discovered empty medicine packets and Semina was taken to hospital.
She was placed into an induced coma, but suffered multiple organ failure and died.
Rachel said: “It was horrific to watch my daughter pass away. Everybody who is paid to safeguard her let her down. Not one of them told her she was worth their time.
“People seem to think that when you take an overdose you go to sleep and you die. No she didn’t. She didn’t at all. We had to watch her die, her body shut down first. No parent should go through that.”
After her death, the family endured further suffering when a video emerged on social media offering £10,000 to “trash” Semina’s grave.
And footage of her being bullied at school were also sent to her family around the time of her funeral.
It included edited pictures of Semina “lying in a coffin” sent from fake accounts, but the family say police did not adequately probe further allegations of harassment.
Rachel branded Merseyside Police “absolutely disgusting” and attributed her daughter’s death to the force, along with “the perpetrator, his family and social services”.
Semina’s phone, which the family claim is a key part of the investigation, is still in possession of the police.
The family have asked that it be returned as it contains pictures of Semina not available elsewhere.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said an inquest is currently being considered by Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens Coroner and it would not be appropriate to comment on the allegations until the inquest process is complete.
They added: “However, we have, and are, co-operating fully with the Coroner in this matter.”
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