Speaking ahead of the case being featured in a national TV documentary on Monday evening, Detective Constable Emily Bucklow, of Nottinghamshire Police, explained how she first went to see the girl after an allegation of rape was made in November of last year.
The evidence she helped to secure was to play a crucial role in putting 24-year-old Barry Price behind bars.
Price, 24, was jailed at Luton Crown Court in January for raping and falsely imprisoning two teenage girls in October and November last year.
He had posed as a 17-year-old boy online and charmed the girls into meeting up with him, before driving them both to an address in Cambridgeshire.
After raping his first victim – a 16-year-old girl – in his car on 28 October, Price arranged to meet a teenage girl from Nottinghamshire on November 7.
After driving to pick her up, Price imprisoned her at a property before raping and sexually abusing her. The girl eventually broke free from Price, returned home and contacted the police.
DC Bucklow, a specially trained officer with around eight years’ experience of supporting victims of rape and sexual abuse, was assigned to the girl and was able to build up a strong and trusting relationship that would prove crucial to Price’s conviction.
She explained: “This young girl was utterly traumatised by what had happened to her and – like many victims of rape and sexual assault – was actually extremely reluctant to talk about what had happened. These things are incredibly personal but as STOs we are trained in how to talk to people.
“More specifically we are trained to support victims to give the very best evidence they can about what happened to them. Because we were still inside the forensic window in this case I arranged to take the victim to the Paediatric Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Nottingham, when young victims of sexual abuse can be medically examined to recover forensic and DNA evidence.
“Although this can be a very difficult experience it can be absolutely vital to achieving a successful prosecution further down the line.”
The victim was later supported by DS Bucklow to attend court and repeat her evidence under cross examination.
DC Bucklow added: “Looking back I really think that the strength of the relationship we built was absolutely fundamental to the success of this case.
“It really was an amazing feeling when the verdicts came back in court. I was proud not only that a sexual predator like Price was going to jail for a long time, but also in the role we had played together in getting the conviction. The bravery of this victim really did play a crucial role in putting this man behind bars where he belongs.
“Whilst she will of course have to live with what happened to her for the rest of her life, I do hope that this sentence will bring some kind of closure to her.”
This case will be featured on Monday night’s episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody, which will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm.