Following a tiff on a night out in early 2009 Taylor Kenney’s boyfriend Dean stormed out of the pub they were drinking in leaving her to make her own way home.
The couple made up in a phone call soon after and Taylor left the pub to meet Dean halfway as he turned back to join her.
But the 16-year-old didn’t meet Dean as planned that night.
She had been followed by illegal immigrant Jawid Armani who dragged the teenager in to an alleyway and brutally raped her.
Armani is now serving six years in jail for two counts of rape and Taylor, now 19, and Dean, 24 have married and have a two-year-old daughter Sofia.
But the couple, who live in Warwickshire, admit they have had to work hard to put the past behind them and get over Dean’s guilt at not being there to protect his girlfriend.
Speaking to Ruth Langsford and Eammon Holmes on the This Morning sofa today Taylor said:
‘We had a stupid argument and Dean left the pub to walk home.
‘Then he realised he was being silly.
‘I assumed he would be walking one way and decided to walk to meet him.
‘Ten minutes in to the journey there was no sign of him and that’s when it happened.
‘I didn’t hear anybody until I turned in to the alleyway, then I heard footsteps and started to panic.
‘They were getting quicker and quicker, when I got to the end of the alleyway he put his hand over my mouth and dragged me back.
‘Afterwards he whispered that he was sorry in to my ear, dusted himself off and then ran back down the alley.’
Dean, who had only just started dating Taylor at the time of the attack, said:
‘I went back to the pub to find her but they told me she had walked.
‘I started going the opposite way and passed some of my friends who said that someone had been attacked but I didn’t click.
‘But when I got home and she still wasn’t answering her phone I started fearing the worst.’
Thanks to Taylor’s testimony and DNA evidence Armani was caught and sentenced for this and one other rape he had committed seven months earlier.
Taylor, who has decided to waive her anonymity in a bid to encourage other victims to seek justice, decided that she didn’t want Dean to attend the court date.
She said: ‘We supported each other as much as we could but I chose not to let Dean come because I thought that would have a serious effect on our relationship if he had to hear it all in so much detail.
‘I think that was the best decision I ever made.
‘The biggest milestone in moving on has been to get justice, without that I wouldn’t have been able to get on with my life.
‘Even now I struggle if I have been thinking about it.
‘In my mind I did sometimes think “Why did you walk that way? You could have been there and stopped it”.’
‘And in intimate moments sometimes I picture the rapist’s face instead of Dean and push him away from me, and I know that is difficult for him.
‘But he has been amazing, he has been my rock, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.’