The stories of nightmares, are you sitting comfortably?
Below is a collection of true, heart-breaking and extremely sad stories, that I have very kindly been sent. It shows the heart-breaking consequences of bullying and false allegations.
When Family and Crown Collide
My name is Aaron Woodford. If you google my name, you will be reading a twisted story on how I allegedly groomed a 13yr old girl when I was 43 for my sexual gratification.
The truth was that my accuser was my ex-partner, who I had had a 10yr committed relationship with. She was 17 and I was 26 when we got together, after she had pursued me for a few weeks. There was almost a 10yr age gap between us. This was used against me in court. She had made her allegations to the police the day before a family court hearing, as I had put a residency order on my daughter, to protect her from the drink driving drug dealing boyfriend my ex partner had decided to be with.
My daughter had made clear to all parties she wanted to live with me in Cornwall. The police spoke to three of the witnesses and all had confirmed that my accusers story was not true. They did not make any official record by recording these interviews, but, I was told by the witnesses themselves, they had been questioned. I was advised by my solicitor (the duty solicitor)to say no comment and to give a written statement.
I was NFA for 15 months after my voluntary interview. My ex had appealed the NFA decision despite having a different story in the family courts and saying she had no concerns and that I was not a risk to my daughter etc etc.
15months later out the blue, I had travelled up to Reading from Cornwall, as I had been doing every other weekend to see my daughter and my other elder children, when I was informed, by the step grandmother, that there will be no contact that day. When I questioned “why not” and that they are breaking the court orders again, she just said “the information is in the post”.
She then filed a c10 and c100 form to the family courts stating that I am a massive risk to my child and contact must stop immediately.
I was charged with 6 counts of sexual activity with a child (my ex partner not my daughter just to be clear). I did have a great defence council and with 7 witnesses I had and the texts and paperwork to show she’s done this to manipulate the family courts to her will into stopping me having anything to do with my daughter ( I even had in writing, in which she said “I will do everything I can to make sure he has nothing to do with his daughter” in family court paperwork!).
So 11 days before my trial the CPS went to the court and changed the date of the hearing without consulting my council first. My barrister could not make the new date as he was already in court on a different case. I was supplied with a new council, who assured me that he had been through my case and he felt it was water tight, and I assumed the years work my previous council had done was what he would be using.
He then informed me 2 days before my trial that he had undone everything my previous council had spent a year working on to put things in his own way. I was a little concerned but felt that it’s clear to anyone that my ex was just trying to use the criminal justice system to bolster her position in the family courts.
Upon arriving to court, I met with my barrister, who seemed to have very little interest in speaking to me and letting me know what witnesses were going to turn up. It turns out he didn’t call any of them except 1 who was of no use unless they had put him in, in reference to a statement he was mentioned in, which would’ve provided doubt on the validity of my accusers allegations. No, nothing.
I was literally left out to dry by my own council, but I believe all part of the CPS plan to guarantee a conviction. Even the investigating police officer came in and was celebrating with my accuser before the jury had even come in to give their verdict!
So I was convicted of 6 counts of sexual activity with a child thanks to my ex partners lies!
I have not seen my daughter for the last 4yrs. I’m only allowed to send her letters once a month at this time. I have served 3yrs in custody and am now out serving my remaining sentence on licence. I am on appeal and with all the documents including new evidence of my ex-partner actually texting saying “why would I make you out to be a pedo, your The daddy” when I first confronted her in regards to a “anonymous” phone call to the police in regards to my daughter staying at my house and in my bed.
This was also recorded as a malicious phone call after the police turned up at my house at 1:40am! I had just cancelled the contract for her phone that I was paying for hence the reason for the call, I believe, as did the police.
I am currently trying to appeal my conviction but the wheels of justice move very slowly. I just hope I can get justice for myself and I will also campaign for change for the law to be reformed to as this ability of men being put away on nothing more than “hear say” needs to end.
The sad reality of a False Allegation.
Below is a very sad story, that I have very kindly been sent. It shows the heart-breaking consequences of bullying and false allegations.
Summary of My Story of Being Falsely Accused.
My story of being falsely accused begins at the point when I was working voluntarily at my local community centre in order for me to rebuild my confidence after being badly psychologically bullied at school from the age of 8, a situation which resulted in my having an intense fear of being sick and a high degree of anxiety of being too far from home which became my comfort zone. I was aged 23 when I started working there in the Playcentre section which was an after-school club catering for 5 to 9 year olds. All was going well, my confidence grew to the point that I considered restarting my career in full-time office work which would normally end daily at 5pm but to do this I would have to leave Playcentre and work in the evening section, the Juniors, which served the 9 to 13 year olds.
The leader of Playcentre put in a good word for me with those who led the Juniors and that’s when my problems started although I would never realise the full extent of the horror that would unfold until many years later.
The two people responsible for running the Juniors seemed to take an instant dislike to me, treating me coldly and refusing me privileges that other voluntary helpers enjoyed such as being allowed to put up notices on the notice board and participating in discos in the centre with other helpers like myself. I was also being belittled and victimised in front of others by these people. This all stifled my plans of hoping to restart a career as well as preventing me socialising which I was longing to do. Helping at the centre was my outlet and, as my ultimate dream was to have a career in music as a singer/songwriter this, too, was totally blocked. I later learned that these bullies also badly treated the Playcentre leader through the years and that I was possibly being used as a pawn for their purposes – indeed, one of them whispered to me that it was ‘personal’ after I asked why I was being unfairly treated.
A few years went by and one of the bullies left, leaving the worst of the two remaining in his post, he also held a position on the centre’s executive committee. Eventually, a new supervisory position of senior youth worker was created and the new person who was brought in took a shine to me and, knowing of my ambition to sing even though I was shy and suffered from my phobia, he encouraged me to arrange an engagement to perform on a stage at the centre to an audience of members of another section there. At this point and now aged 33 I had been working there nearly ten years, this was my first ever pre-booked performance and it was on a stage, too! It went down really well and it proved to me just how much I achieved in regaining my confidence up until that point. I was asked to return for another engagement and, at the same time, was also approached by a talent scout who had connections in the music industry and who also adapted musicals to put on annually as staged events at the centre. He said he would like to accompany me on piano during my next performance, what this would have led to in terms of fulfilling my ambitions I will now never know. I had built up a little fan club by this time and was asked out by a group of girls and boys aged around twenty for the first time in my life.
All my most precious hopes and dreams seemed to start to come together for the very first time after having waited so long. The bully who made my life hell got to hear of my singing and, instead of his usual victimising me publicly he changed tactics and started implying that I was unfit to work with children and that the fact of my being on a list of well-established voluntary helpers was, in his words, ‘a mistake’. Various people consisting of paid staff to volunteers tried their best to support me in different ways against this bully but to no avail. On one occasion during this period he shouted out well within earshot of a crowd of people who had gathered there that I should ‘keep away from the children! Keep away from the building while there are children in it!’ Negative reactions soon set in towards me and I also learned that I was banned from singing. I soon felt I had to leave as I feared the situation would become too hostile to bear if I stayed. As I walked away from the building for the last time I felt as though I was drifting helplessly in a night-time sea leaving behind all the confidence and potential friendships I had built up over the years. Had circumstances been different I would have overcome the phobia which resulted from the bullying at school and would have been able to live my life – instead, things became much, much worse.
As time went on the full horror of the situation became only too apparent. My now highly toxic name had spread not only to other centres but also to the local council, it seemed that I’d been blacklisted by the entire borough. Banned from working with children and banned from singing with the knock-on effect of socialising in the way others take for granted also being off limits – all this made it totally impossible for me to live the life I had always longed for. The extreme aggravation and heartbreak caused my phobia of being sick to become much worse than it ever was before due to my stomach becoming extremely nervous and sensitive and I was now feeling sick most of the time, a terrible situation which kept me at home and still does to this day due to the extreme intensity of the anxiety and panic. Days which I am able to travel any distance, even relatively short ones, from home are incredibly rare. My life has, in effect, been paralysed in more ways than one.
All I could do was to look on helplessly as potential opportunities to experience the fulfilment of even a tiny fraction of my hopes and dreams disappeared as the years went by. My mother became constantly heartbroken at the situation, she was looking forward for such a long time to seeing me amount to something worthwhile. The experience of seeing her break down and cry will forever remain with me. My father was disappointed with me. I also realise with great sadness that if I do not produce a family then this would mean the end of my section of the family tree and, indeed, the end of the family tree of my parents.
In summary, this is one of the most barbaric, evil, heartbreaking situations I could ever imagine and all caused by the spreading of malicious rumours through the jealousy and lies of one person plus the willingness of others to be taken in. The thoughts of being forced to badly let down and break the hearts of those who I love and cherish as a result of the inevitable knock-on effects will always remain with me as will the destruction of a lifetime of hopes and dreams. The emotional turmoil and devastation caused by this one person will never be forgotten.
An Irish Nightmare
In 2010 I was an elected Fianna Fail member of Dundalk Town Council in Ireland. I also volunteered as Chairperson of my local youth club at the time. I helped found it in 1998. I was heavily involved in my local GAA club, came from a working class background living in a local council housing estate. I was also involved in my local parish church having succeeded my late father in various different roles in the church including taking charge of the altar servers. I know who exactly made those allegations against me and I still see them walking around town today. Needless to say I was shafted by Fianna Fail at the time and I continued to remain on the council as an Independent member. The media hounded me and it was like a "trial by media". One particular media outlet, The Argus, stopped publishing my notices of motion and notices of question that I would table at council meetings. This is the number one selling paper in our town. It almost looked as if I was a "lame duck" member of the council and was not working on behalf of my constituents. I was deeply grateful that the Dundalk Democrat and Dundalk Leader continued to publish my press releases etc. The Leader never gave me a hard time and was actually quite courteous towards me when I returned to the council chamber a few months after taking a "leave of absence". I am still pretty active within my community but unfortunately there are still bigots in this town that believe all that they read in the printed and on social media. I think the system here is so unfair towards the accused especially when one is in a position of authority. I contested the last two local elections here in Dundalk and on both occasions I was eliminated on the first count. I don't think I will be going up for election again even though others are trying to persuade me otherwise. I am married to a lovely guy now called Brendan and we have a wee dog called Enzo.
Despite trying to reintroduce myself into society I still face obstacles due to these false allegations. One recent experience I will highlight is I applied to a local organisation to join a free computer course. Previously I had met the manager outside the centre who advised me that there was a course there with "an immediate start". The application process required my doctor completing a medical form and one of the questions on the form was in relation to sexual behavioral issues, he indicated that I had none. When I presented this form to the manager and when it came to that point of the form my past came back to haunt me. I explained what had happened back then, he accepted it, but told me that it had to go before his line manager, who was away on holidays, so my application was delayed for a further few weeks.
I received a phone call to be told that "we were good to go" but had to undergo a psychological assessment (it is part of the application process apparently) but that the psychologist was away until the middle of November, therefore delaying my joining the course even further! So at the moment I am in limbo!
I would like to point out that I received Garda clearance twice since 2010 through the Garda Vetting Process.
Even though I have moved on somewhat from 2010, I do still detest the Gardai here in Dundalk and have no time for them and the entire justice system in Ireland. We need to change the law!