In the Media

Lotto rapist victim reveals her identity after receiving MBE

PUBLISHED January 4, 2012

Shirley Woodman, previously known as Mrs A, describes battle to receive landmark settlement in 2009

A woman who fought for compensation from a serial rapist when he won ?7m on the national lottery has waived her anonymity after she was awarded an MBE.

Shirley Woodman, 82, who was previously known only as Mrs A, spoke to the BBC about her battle to receive a landmark settlement from Iorworth Hoare in 2009.

The retired teacher, who was attacked by Hoare in Roundhay Park, Leeds, in 1988 was made an MBE in the 2012 Queen's New Year honours for services to the community in Yorkshire.

Hoare was jailed for life the year after the attempted rape, but won ?7.2m in 2004 when he bought a Lotto Extra ticket while on day release from prison.

Woodman sued him after learning of his win, but he contested the claim, arguing that victims of sex attacks must make their claims within six years.

However, in 2008 the law lords ruled that courts should have the discretion to extend that time limit in cases of serious assault.

Woodman reached an out-of-court settlement in 2009 after taking her claim to the high court. Hoare had previous convictions for rape, two other attempted rapes and three indecent assaults when he attacked Woodman.

She said she had given all the compensation money to charity and now "felt composed".

Speaking to BBC Look North, she said she had been "horrified and terrified" when she heard of Hoare's Lotto win.

"I just felt that he was going to seek me out and wreak his vengeance on me, because it was my evidence given in court that put him in prison," she said.

She felt Hoare's Lotto win was "unjust" and wanted him to pay damages for the psychological injuries she suffered as a result of the attack.

"It was a fantastic struggle. It was a long and traumatic one and it was very hard at times," she told the BBC. "But when we heard the decision from the Lords, there was jubilation.

"I don't mind now being identified as the Mrs A who took my assailant to court and changed the law," she said.

Woodman said she was "very proud" to receive an MBE after being nominated by her daughter, Shelley Wolfson.

Wolfson said her mother was "a woman of dignity, a woman of strength".

She told the BBC: "She fought the law of the land and she won." © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds