• Juliet Crew was found by her mother Judith at her home in Taunton
  • Ms Crew had reported her stepfather Nigel Parkin for raping her in 2010
  • Parkin, 60, was found not guilty of all charges at Taunton Crown Court 
  • Ms Crew was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder before her death

 

A young woman killed herself three years after her church organist step-father was cleared of repeatedly raping her, an inquest heard today.

Tormented Juliet Crew, 22, was found hanged and left a note saying she felt let down by the legal system.

Her step-father Nigel Parkin, 60, was found not guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing her for seven years from the age of nine.

Juliet Crew, 22, wrote a note before she took her own life in August claiming the legal system had failed her after her step father was cleared of repeatedly raping her from the age of nine

Juliet Crew, 22, wrote a note before she took her own life in August claiming the legal system had failed her after her step father was cleared of repeatedly raping her from the age of nine.

The ‘outgoing and bubbly’ architecture student had told a court Parkin sexually touched and raped her at least ten times.

Parkin was cleared after he said Juliet and another alleged victim were both suffering from mental health problems.

Her mother Judith, who divorced Mr Parkin after the trial, found her daughter’s body hanging in the hall of their home in Taunton, Somerset, in August last year, an inquest heard yesterday.

Nigel Parkin, pictured, was found not guilty of sexually touching and raping Ms Crew over a period of seven years from the age on nine following a trial at Taunton Crown Court in 2012 - her mother Judith divorced him after the trial

Nigel Parkin, pictured, was found not guilty of sexually touching and raping Ms Crew over a period of seven years from the age on nine following a trial at Taunton Crown Court in 2012 – her mother Judith divorced him after the trial

Taunton Coroners Court heard the strain of the legal proceedings took a severe toll on Juliet’s mental health.

In the months before her death her weight plummeted, she self-harmed and she overdosed on medication, the inquest was told.

The inquest heard in a suicide note private school girl Juliet said she had been failed by the judicial system.

It read: ‘The judicial system in this country, especially for victims of sexual offences, is disgusting.

‘There is no justice. It only confirmed that I cannot trust people. I do not want to live in a world where there is no justice.’

Parkin, who is employed by the Church of England, was found not guilty of ten serious offences against Juliet in a trial at Taunton Crown Court in 2012.

Juliet’s mother Judith told the inquest: ‘She felt that she had been let down by the authorities, specifically the justice system and the mental heath services.

‘She was astounded that Nigel Parkin was still at large among vulnerable people. She never recovered from this feeling of injustice.’

Parkin’s trial heard Juliet, who attended Queen’s College School in Taunton, told a teacher at her school in Autumn 2010 that he had sexually assaulted her.

Although she went on to achieve top grades in her A-Level exams and began studying architecture at Nottingham University in 2011, her mother said ‘she lost her sparkle’.

Juliet was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in Autumn 2014 and in January 2015 was prescribed anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and anti-psychotic drugs.

Her mother told the inquest: ‘At the end of April 2015 she took a massive overdose. One month later she took another overdose.

‘She lost a lot of weight and she was a bag of bones. She weighed about six and a half stone.’

Giving evidence, Juliet’s father Alan Crew, said: ‘I’m left with a feeling of dreadful failure. Juliet was failed by the people she trusted and by the authorities.

‘The full extent of her mental health problems were unknown to me.

‘The failure of the trial in 2012 to convict Nigel Parkin and the failure to have a retrial clearly had a serious effect on Juliet.’

Parkin denied 17 charges against two girls, one of whom was Ms Crew, pictured

Parkin denied 17 charges against two girls, one of whom was Ms Crew, pictured

Her sister Fiona Crew, said she had seen Juliet a week before she died and had been left feeling very concerned about her mental health.

Fiona said: ‘She said she was having flashbacks and was constantly experiencing the rapes she experienced at the hands of Mr Parkin.

‘The rapes that Juliet experienced affected her her whole life. She was self-harming. To hear that your beautiful sister is cutting herself is heartbreaking.

‘Mr Parkin was re-employed by the Church of England and this compounded her stress.’

The trial at Taunton Crown Court in 2012 accused Parkin of befriending two youngsters before sexually assaulting them.

He was accused of brushing up against one 11-year-old girl as he gave her piano lessons – before groping her chest.

He is then alleged to have moved his attentions on to a younger girl – now revealed to be Juliet – aged just nine.

He was accused of sexually touching her and later raping her on more than ten occasions until she was 16, prosecutors claimed.

Parkin denied 17 charges – including rape, indecent assaults and sexual assaults – some of which were said to happen in his car.

During the trial, Prosecutor Sarah Regan said: ‘She said she was raped on ten occasions and indecently assaulted on about another ten occasions.’

The court was told she kept the alleged attacks a secret until she was 17, in 2010, when she confided to her headmaster after he gained her trust.

In a police interview, which was played to the court, she claimed the attacks had driven her to self-harm and attempt suicide.

The girl told a trained police officer how she desperately tried to escape Parkin’s clutches but was overpowered every time.

She sobbed: ‘I was just scared and so ashamed. I was trying to move, to get him off me but he put my arms behind my back. I couldn’t move.

‘I tried to kick him but I couldn’t move the top half of my body. I just couldn’t do it.’

Parkin was cleared of two counts of indecent assault on one girl, and eight counts of rape against another.

The jury was discharged after deliberating for almost 11 hours after it could not reach a majority verdict on the remaining seven charges.

In a tribute to her at the time of her death, her sister posted: ‘My youngest sister Juliet sadly passed away on August 6th, aged only 22.

‘She spent the latter part of her school years at Queens College, Taunton, a place she loved dearly.

‘To commemorate her memory, we would like to place a memorial bench overlooking the school sports fields. Juliet enjoyed playing sport and indeed had a tremendous talent for it. It therefore seems fitting that her many friends can spend a moment in one of her favourite places remembering a bright, talented young woman who touched the lives of so many with her kindness and creativity.’