It’s a haunting story but one that must be read by any loving parent to truly understand the depths that depraved child abusers and child murderers will go to in order to conceal their true identities.
How to spot a Paedophile isn’t easy. They are skilled in the art of cunning.
Paedophiles are highly adept and dangerous predators. They know exactly who to target, including Single Mothers and Vulnerable women and their children. It’s only once the terrible truth comes out that you begin to fully appreciate what vile and despicable monsters they really are.
Roxanne Lawrence from West Bromich is one such mother who will have live with the guilt of introducing such a monster to her innocent family. Her words are etched on her heart for life but hopefully someone can learn from the tragedy she and her family have suffered and prevent the same happening to one of their children.
Many of her friends told her that they could ‘see it in his eyes’ whenever they saw a photograph of Darren Walker, the man who murdered Roxanne’s lovely nine-year-old daughter Stacey:
“There were no clues. There was nothing. I have looked and looked and still, all I see is a normal person. He didnâ€™t look like a paedophile or a killer. His eyes look like anyone elseâ€™s. He looked like the man I loved. The man we all loved.”
It’s been two years since Stacey was brutally murdered by lorry driver Walker who sexually assaulted her in his truck before he strangled her with a tow-rope and then hung himself in a nearby woods.
“I sit here and think, did he target us from the beginning?Â Did he always have those feelings towards Stacey? How much of the 18 months I spent with him was real?Â Surely he canâ€™t have been using me just to get to Stacey. Surely Iâ€™d have known. I have trawled through every memory I have of him for something that might help me make sense of it. He was Mr Perfect as far as we could see, right up until the day it happened,” said Roxanne Lawrence.
The mother who had a history of violent and abusive relationships began seeing Walker in 2008 after her eldest daughter began dating his nephew:
“Considering everything Iâ€™d been through before, he was Prince Charming. He really couldnâ€™t do enough for us. He took my son kickboxing and Stacey to Brownies. Iâ€™d never known any man be so sensitive or considerate. He was everything youâ€™d want in a family guy.”
Her young daughter Stacey suffered badly with arthritis in her knees and had to spend a lot of her time in hospital. The paedophile often took time off work to take her to her hospital appointments:
“He was devoted”, says Roxanne. “In hospital, he carried her back and forth to the toilet. There was nothing he wouldnâ€™t do for her.
“Looking back, I just canâ€™t believe that he was looking at her that way then.”
But knowing what she knows now, the mother had no choice but to accept that the man she had brought into her family was planning his evil attack from the first moment they met.
Shockingly she received a copy of Walker’s Serious Case Review published in October and discovered that her so-called ‘perfect- boyfriend had been investigated four times by the police for sexual assault on young boys and girls but had a clean record.
The report said there were ‘child safeguarding issues’ which had not been adequately investigated and because Walker had not been convicted of the offences there would be no records.
“I understand that you canâ€™t label everyone who has been accused of something. There has to be some protection for the innocent.
“But the police told me that Walker had â€œflown just below the radarâ€. It makes my blood run cold. Only a tiny fraction of those who are a serious danger to children are actually classified as such, and the people who knew him better than anyone, his family. Never said anything about him being investigated by the police in relation to any previous child sex allegations.”
Tragically her little girl who suffered with arthritis and was mostly confined to a wheelchair even asked her if she could call Walker dad.
The little girl who loved animals had big hopes and dreams of becoming a zookeeper was unaware of the dangers that lay ahead of her in the shape of the evil lorry driver she trusted so much and after pleading to be allowed to go with Walker on one of his overnight deliveries, like her older brother had sometimes done, her mother Roxanne relented:
“Sheâ€™d pack a little bag full of books and animal toys, and off theyâ€™d go. They both loved it.
“The first time, they left on Monday and came back on Tuesday at tea-time. I noticed that Walker was clean-shaven, and Iâ€™d never known him to shave when he was out on a job.Â He said Stacey said it was rough. He said heâ€™d had a quick shave. I maybe thought it was a bit strange that heâ€™d bother, but I didnâ€™t think much more of it.
“Later, of course those words chilled me. Looking back I wonder whether that was the start of it, in his mind,” she says. But oblivious of anything anything untoward, Roxanne allowed Stacey to go again on Friday.
The last that was seen of her daughter and Walker was caught on CCTV footage at a petrol before he used two tow-ropes that he’d taken from the family home in the morning, one which he used to kill Stacey and the other he used to hang himself after.
Despite Roxanne being unable to accept that Walker had planned to kill her little girl experts handling the case were in no doubt whatsoever that the twisted child killer had planned his each and every move from meeting the single mother and her children.
“I will drive myself insane thinking of the last minutes of her life.
“I try to shut it off in my mind because when I see her face, I see it all.
“I donâ€™t know if she was conscious when the guy she called Dad did what he did to her. It destroys me. Iâ€™m also just glad heâ€™s dead. Iâ€™d hate to think of him in his cosy cell, still living. Staceyâ€™s life is over. Itâ€™s right that his is too.
“I want to help other women understand that paedophiles can look and act like normal people. You cannot see it in their eyes.
“Itâ€™s easier than you think to put your child in their arms.”
What every parent should be asking themselves right now is:
Do You Really Know The People You Trust Your Children With? Can You Spot A Paedophile Or Just When It Is Too Late?