The teacher was marking books during her second day at the school when the black youth entered the room where she was working, grabbed her by the throat, ripped off most of her clothes, head-butted her, bit her, attempted to rape her vaginally and repeatedly threatened to kill her. Following the attack her face was so badly cut and bruised that her colleagues were unable to recognise her.
Prosecutor Brendan Kelly said:
"She felt an arm around her neck but at first thought this was merely a student joking. The force however tightened and he pulled her out of her chair. She was of course shocked. While he grabbed her he was telling her to be quiet... For most of the attack he had his hands round her neck... He made it quite clear he would kill her. She became very clear that his intent was to rape her. She did all she could to resist. He head-butted her... Remarkably she had the presence of mind to retain some of the ejaculate in her mouth, which in due course was to identify her attacker."The young teacher bravely decided to speak out and tell the world about her experience in order to help other women. This is what she said:
"I was very glad to be alive because I did not think I would be. I honestly thought that I was going to be murdered, on top of everything else...The young lady, who deserves a George Medal for her bravery and attitude, still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
He beat me, true. But I fought him... He attacked me three times over in a sexual sense and on one of those times I bit him on the penis... I kicked him in the groin, I kicked him in the knees and I bit him... When they got the doctor to examine him, he had a lot of swelling on his penis.
A lot of women think that if they were in that situation they would not be able to fight. The truth is, you won't know until you are in that situation. But I must vouch for how important fighting has been for me. It has given me a great deal of self-confidence. I fought that boy...
I was probably unrecognisable, not to mention in quite a revolting state - I was covered in blood...
This always amazes me in retrospect and it amazes everyone else. But I realised very early on that I didn't have a clue who he was. I think it's 10% of people who are attacked sexually and raped actually don't know their attacker. So I was really keen to preserve any of the evidence that was left. And because it was in my mouth, I didn't want it in my mouth. He had told me to swallow, but I hadn't and I didn't want it in my mouth. I just said to her I have got to get this out of my mouth.
So she (the head's PA) found me a plastic cup. I just kept saying to her it's got to be clean, it's got to be clean, and I spat into there. I was also bleeding profusely from just about everywhere on my face. My nose had split open across the bridge and it was bleeding inside as well. So at the same time I also needed to spit out a lot of blood.'
They did still speak to my boyfriend because I don't think I could have stood to have had to tell him at the time. He is absolutely wonderful. You have this dreadful event that you would think would have destroyed my faith in all men. But simultaneously the way that he responded to it, although probably not restoring my faith in men in general, certainly made me believe wholeheartedly that there are some amazing men out there. I just happen to have one. He gave me a reason to fight when the chips were down. Because I just wanted to see him again. I didn't want to die...
I have got a lot of trust issues. I became increasingly isolated and I think we both worked very hard to make sure it didn't impact on our relationship...
Most rape cases go unreported. Of those that are reported, not many even come to press attention because they are not particularly sensational. Mine has the potential to be a sensational issue and I know that and I don't want it to be that. I want it to serve a purpose to other women. If anything comes out of it, I want them to know help is out there, that they are not on their own. You don't ever get your old life back. But you can get your life together and you can form another life that will be just as positive."
Her symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, sleepless nights, and extreme fatigue.
It later transpired that the 15-year-old was known to the police and they were aware that he was a danger to women. This information was not passed on to his school. In March 2004, he was accused of threatening a 12-year-old pupil with rape at a railway station, which brought him to the attention of the British Transport Police. He was not charged.
He was later arrested in connection with attempting to rape a 24-year-old woman in Kennington Park. No charges were brought.
However, he was charged with possession of a knife in 2004. He was conditionally discharged.
At the age of 10 he came to the attention of Southwark social services after he was accused of 'disrupting' other pupils.
One wonders what, precisely, 'disrupting' means.
In July 2005, the youth who so dreadfully assaulted the young teacher was jailed for life. The following week, Dwayne Best lost his High Court bid to keep his identity secret.
We all knew he'd be called Dwayne, didn't we?
Just like we all knew he looked like before the court artist sketched the impression below.