Victim impact statement by Michael Ward’s ex-fiancee

‘IT is difficult to describe the effect these crimes had on me and my family. They are so all encompassing. All I can do is to use an example.

‘I was told on October 27, 2006, that I had cancer and I was unable to register that news. I was too consumed and devastated by the way Michael Ward had deceived, betrayed and manipulated me for the previous four months.

I had no more strength left to deal with this new development. I was so low that it slowed my recovery after surgeons removed the tumour and part of my bladder .

Three years on and it still takes its toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally.

I needed and got counselling immediately after my release from hospital to cope with the devastation of Michael Ward’s brutal deception. I still attend to this day.

Since meeting Michael Ward I have lost my belief in the inherent goodness of people. I have not had a relationship since. I hope to regain some of the trust in people that used to come so naturally to me. This sentence may give me some closure and allow me to move on.

I would like to draw your attention to the behaviour of Michael Ward after October 24, 2006, and the impact that this had on me.

Michael Ward, knowing as he did the truth of everything in the book of evidence, did not plead guilty when charged or when handed the book of evidence.

These were opportunities for him to show some remorse and would have greatly helped me move on and allow me to focus on my health and recovery. He made me live and relive it every day for three years, made me take the stand and endure cross examination.

He only pleaded guilty when all hope of acquittal was gone, four days into the trial and three years on. He has shown no remorse. I firmly believe his constant stalling tactics once he was charged were an attempt to delay things to such an extent that I would in fact be too sick or no longer be alive to testify.

This case was an internal battle from the start for me. I was worried about the effect of pursuing Michael Ward through the courts would have on my health.

There was a strong possibility I would not live to see the pursuing conclusion. Some people urged me to concentrate on battling the cancer and to try and forget the devastating effect Michael’s abuse had on me.

The only reason I have come this far and endured another three years of constant reminders is the thought that I could stop something like this happening to another woman. Someone like me. Someone’s daughter and sister.

If it is possible and if the court sees fit I would like my anonymity protected and Michael Ward be named.

‘I wish, after today, to put this completely behind me. But I also have a strong desire to have Michael Ward publicly named in the hope that after his sentence is over, other women will have access to his name and picture and it may offer them some protection.’