Peacock’s Swansong

29 Jul

On July 22nd 1996, a 22 year-old man named Sean Peacock broke into the home of an 84 year-old woman who weighed 5 1/5 stone, and raped her.
Based on DNA evidence, he was convicted in 2002 (the amazing woman, aged 90 at the time, testified in court!!) and served six years in prison despite claiming memory loss (alcohol-induced). During a sex offender rehabilitation program, he was taught photography, which he became rather good at. After his release in 2008 he began working for some of the top modelling agencies and changed his name to Shaun Colclough.

Throughout 2011, he brought young relatively new models to his studio in Hackney Wick and proceeded to batter their self-esteem and induce a sense of terror and vulnerability before sexually assaulting them.
I was one of these models. Compared to his other crimes, his offence against me was minor and, not believing anything could be done, I tried to get on with my life- until a chance conversation with another model revealed she also had been a victim and a disturbing pattern began to emerge.

I named him in August 2011 on this blog and a worrying number of other models came in to tell their stories. (Here’s the post- go through the comments). Eventually, Shaun himself came online to attempt to justify his actions. Notice that in my response to him, I recognised his words for those of a rapist. Frightening indeed.
Fingering, vaginal and anal touching, forced oral sex, indecent exposure… As the stories came pouring in, many of us called the police and gave our statements. This was at the height of the Jimmy Saville scandal and I think the Met Police were rather swamped so the trial ended up being in June (2014).

Four of Shaun’s models came to testify (including me) and as the trial approached, I was asked to take down my blog until a verdict was reached. This, I did. I answered questions and looked for the first time at photographs of myself I had not seen before. I had expected court to be the way it is in American films- people yelling at me and banging things, but it wasn’t at all. I was given the option of testifying behind a screen or video link so I never had to look at him. (I chose neither but it was a comfort to other girls). I won’t lie- it was not a pleasant experience, but this kind of thing never is. However, I think all the women who testified felt inside that there was something deeply unsettling about Shaun and if our words could help get justice for any of us, the fear and discomfort would be worth it…

It was.

Shaun was sentenced today at Snaresbrook Crown Court- two consecutive sentences for sexual assault totalling SEVEN YEARS, with an extended license for five (meaning the police will be watching for an extra five years). In addition,
– He will be banned from taking photos of female models without an adult present with no convictions and full knowledge of his prior offences
– His hard-drive will be destroyed
– He will be put on the latest sex offenders register
– During the sentencing, his defence barrister stated that should Shaun decide to appeal, he will not represent him(!)
– Nothing to do with the sentencing, but due to the first arrest, Shaun also lost his marriage. (Yes, he had been married.)

The judge’s statement before passing the sentence was interesting. She mentioned that despite the defence barristers best efforts to convince her otherwise, she felt the current sexual assaults were linked to the past rape in the sense that “no doubt he deliberately contacted the vulnerable” and enjoyed the power and fear he instilled in the victims- “fear deliberately engendered by you”.
The defence barrister attempted to argue that there was no escalation on the level of crime committed (violent rape versus sexual assault on nude women) but, rightly, the judge countered that there was escalation: his rape defence centred on the idea that it was a drunken impulse, yet this series of assaults had been premeditated and there was the element of further degradation reached by photographing our discomfort and humiliation. At the bottom of this post is a photo he took of me that I had kept hidden until now.
Even more chilling: he had mentioned to one victim that he intended to take a trip to Amsterdam “to photograph pretty women on the street”. This too was brought up as evidence of premeditation. These women, not being professional models, would have had no clue how a normal photoshoot should proceed. Even easier targets…

I must say, when she bellowed “Shaun Colclough, STAND UP” as she passed the sentence, I began to shake- I hadn’t dared to hope for even three years- let alone seven. But here we are.

Now, more witnesses have come forward and it looks as though there will be another court session with a view to extending the sentence of the monster and rapist that is Shaun Colclough.

Please share this blog with anyone you know in the modelling/photography community. It is certain he assaulted and likely raped more women and they deserve the chance to see justice served.
If you were a Colclough victim and did not originally come forward, please consider doing so now. Court is not much fun, but there is support available throughout the process. Going through the experience and seeing the result has been the most empowering thing I have ever done. Had nobody been willing to fight, the rapist would still be out there.
This goes for anyone who has been sexually attacked: fight, for I promise you are not alone. You are stronger than you ever thought possible.

Thankyou, everyone who has supported us and taken care of us in times when our strength was at its lowest. Thankyou, brave brave women who saw this through to the end.

ROSWELL xxx

January 2011: Colclough victim and witness.
Model portfolio photoshoot_Roswell_by Shaun Colclough_0144 as Smart Object-1

July 2014: Happiest woman in Chinatown
WP_20140729_023WP_20140729_024

50 Responses to “Peacock’s Swansong”

  1. Frivolous Monsters July 30, 2014 at 12:06 am #

    I guess his “back story” removes any final veneer he may have presented to anyone who was still in any doubt. It must be very satisfying to finally get to the end of it all. Well done to all concerned. Oddly a google search for either of his names doesn’t turn up any news story other than your blog. It makes you wonder how many court cases go unreported.
    All my best,
    FM

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      Oh, absolutely!!! I am just so happy to have come out of this okay, seen that the other women involved are all safe and have seen justice done, and watched as the papers dove right in. :)
      I think a Google search now will be much more telling…

      R x

  2. Dave Lewandoski July 30, 2014 at 3:15 am #

    Wow.

    You are a true inspiration to everyone with what you have done here Ms Roswell. Thank you so much for helping put this guy behind bars. He got exactly what he deserved. With luck you will never have to put up with anything even remotely like that ever again. You deserve full respect for doing what you do as a professional model and should never have to worry about your safety in any way. Of course for standing up to him and then putting yourself totally out there and testifying against him means you deserve even more respect. As you have said, it is never easy for anyone to get up in court and bare themselves completely (in the metaphorical sense of course) to try and put creeps like him in jail. We are in awe of you for this, and I for one certainly hope that this has all made you an even stronger person than you were before!

    Stand tall for all that you have achieved – this is something that you can be proud of for the rest of your life :)

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      Thankyou so much for all your kind words and support. I can honestly say this feels, to me, the most empowering thing I have ever done. I cannot stress how important it is that any victims of sexual crimes come forward. It needs to be destigmatised and police attitudes are not the same as a decade ago.

      My very best wishes,

      R x

  3. Ian Marks July 30, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    Well Done, Roswell…!! Saw a mention on PP – and guessed it was this case. Soooo pleased with the outcome. Lets hope he has an ‘interesting time’ during his sentence. Seriously, that took a huge amount of guts to stand up in court. Kudos to you and the other models, who also supported the case, in whatever way.

    Yay…!!! :-)

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      Thankyou so so much! Wow, yes- we’ve been working together for years so you’ve seen the whole thing unfold!!

  4. falstaff36 July 30, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    Wow………this guy is even more of a sick fuck than I already figured he was. Congratulations again on nailing this scumbag. Do you know if the U.K. has what’s known in Canada as a “dangerous offender” kind of status for the ultimate in unrepentant criminals? It’s where it’s determined that because this “person” clearly poses such a direct threat to the public that it’s decided that such a person can never, ever be let out of prison. This guy clearly strikes me as the kind of thing that will go right back to raping again the moment he got out of jail.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

      Lol! Indeed. I think a few of us nearly fell over backwards when the judge began to read his history!
      We do, though it is rare for such a thing to proceed and it does not keep a person out of prison, merely watched like a hawk… and the judge ordered one done. Yay! :D

  5. Hugh July 30, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Well done you and the other victims who came forward. A very hard thing for you to go through, and a real contribution to society getting this thing put where it belongs.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      Thankyou so much for your support! I hope all is well,

      R xx

  6. Paul Ward July 30, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    So glad you were instrumental in taking that monster down. Congrats to you and the other models that came forward. Hopefully this will send a message to others to be more respectful!

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Thankyou- I hope so. I really hope our story will inspire other women (not just models) to come forward.

  7. Kris K July 30, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    Roswell. not much i can say to this article except i’m so sorry that you and the fellow victims had to go through this horrible experience at all, but at least justice has been done. Stay strong and keep smiling, I love the China town pictures!

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Thankyou for all your support! Me too- I was bouncing around like crazy (happiness and bubble tea high!) :)

  8. fromthechalkface July 30, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    This is brilliant; so pleased for all the victims (& their breathtaking strength) who’ve seen justice occur &, I guess, prevented more victims.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Thankyou so much- I really appreciate your words of support! :)

  9. Zinzi Graham July 30, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    So much respect for you for posting about this. When I was younger I was mistreated by a different photographer, who has since also been convicted of rape. I am thankful that it never escalated to that point with myself or the models that I know, although it certainly came close with a couple of them. It’s such a terrifying and demoralizing experience to go through.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

      Thankyou so much and I’m really glad that you are okay. My very best wishes to you, and stay safe,

      R xxx

  10. Stephen McParlin (@McParlinStephen) July 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    I have to commend you for your bravery, and wish it had not been necessary. I think it questionable that any on the sex offenders’ register should be legally allowed to change their names. Because of your testimony, other women have been spared what you underwent. You have every reason to be very proud of what you have done. Thank you.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Thankyou for your kind words- I agree with you in that people on such a list should be banned from certain professions too- photography for instance! :)

  11. Corwin Amber July 30, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m glad you stood up for yourself and others and against this piece of garbage, lady. Nobody deserves that, models who put a modicum of trust in the photographer as little as anyone else. Well written, well said, and well done.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

      Thankyou so much for all your support! :)

  12. DecisiveImaging July 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Great summary of this story. Thanks for sharing. Would be interesting to see what this guy looks like, is there a picture of him anywhere?

  13. Richard Bierman July 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    well done you, what a shame there are still others out there!

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

      Thankyou so much- and I agree. Stiill, the more people report, the harder it is for people to offend.

  14. Stewart Niblock July 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    As a man, I will never experience the horrors he put you and others through but I admire you so much for your bravery in how you handled everything in your fight to bring him successfully to justice. You are an amazing woman for all you have done – I hope the rest of your life is positive, peaceful and rewarding!

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      Thankyou so much for your kind words of support! I’m back in the working mindset now and enjoying modelling/writing/blogging again. :)

  15. John Killingback July 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Well done, you were very brave but without people like you these perverts will keep getting away with their dirty habits.
    Just because you model doesn’t make you anything else but a model and you and all other models should be treated with respect.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Thankyou. I agree that people need to report such crimes- otherwise nothing can be done. If somebody has raped or assaulted once you can bet you won’t be the first victim.

  16. Romantic Dominant July 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Wonderful. I raise a glass.

  17. Sophie@HMSlatex July 30, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Bravo Roswell. This brought tears to my eyes. So many emotions. Bravo to you and to all the other witness and I hope this sentencing brings solace to all his victims. Love, Sophie

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      Many many hugs and much love to you! Thankyou so much for your kind words and support. I hope all is well with your new venture!

      xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  18. Tony Segura July 30, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Glad to see justice done, I hope more of his victims come forward and he gets more time behind bars.

  19. Lala July 30, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Thank you so much for having the courage to speak out.

    Your importance of references blog is soooo important. I shot with a really good photographer and didn’t ask for references. he later “groomed me” online while I was going through a horrible period of mental illness. I was so lonely I went along with it. I felt so ashamed but stories like yours show that despite it still being a horrible experience, I was lucky that I wasn’t assaulted.

    Thank you :-)

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

      Hey there,

      Thankyou so much for your words of support. I’m glad you are okay and safe too. :)

      Please remember this is NOT your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of. Take care and stay safe,

      R xxx

  20. KathTea July 31, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Have you found a way to report his listing here yet?

    http://www.east-london.org/shaun-colclough-photography-l100.html

    If not, I’ll help you contact the website.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      Ugh! I’ve tried but to be honest the amount of comments on there should stop anyone trying to contact him. It helps that he’s also in prison, lol!! :D

      Hope all’s well with you

      xxx

  21. Jim August 2, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I am proud to know you Roswell Ivory!!! I am still sorry any one has to deal with such a person as Colclough. I hope any other of his victims come forward and gain the knowledge and strength you have, and see justice done for them as well. I do not think the sentence was long enough, or harsh enough. The crimes he committed are of the lowest and most disgusting things anyone could do to another human. Again, Roswell Ivory I am very proud to know you!!!! Peace & Luv, Jim

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Thankyou so, so much for your kind words! I also hope more of the victims come forward. It is a huge victory for all women, not just models- seeing another sex offender jailed.

  22. Johnathan Davies August 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    It’s actions like this that give male photographers a fucked up reputation before we even start…. seven years?…. Corporal Punishment, public flogging and chemical castration! More like….I studied for 3 years, spent the best part of £25k to EARN the right to call myself a Photographer. To the models affected by this and indeed to all models not all photographers act in this manner. Any that do should be banned also from owning any form of image capturing device. However Miss Ivory, I salute your strength, and the strength of those who brought this insult to humanity to justice.

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      Thankyou or your words of support. Certainly, I support chemical castration for sex offenders but until that happens in this country, I’m happy with seven years and as there’s now a nationwide campaign to get other women to come forward I hope he will end up getting a longer sentence.

  23. mikki August 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I’d try and say something but I doubt you’d be able to here me over the sound of how awesome you are :]

    • roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Awwwwww! Thankyou so much! I’ve been hiding for a bit as the whole thing was very stressful but I’m back in action now- yay!
      xx

  24. Chwenny August 7, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Congratulations !!! So happy that you’ve done a big part to protect all his potential future victims. The way he operated sounds so scary just reading about it as a woman. Also though this is very late, congrats on holding your ground during your bad experience with him.. it shows that when you are strong enough even monsters can’t really hurt you.

    • roswellivory August 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      Thankyou so much- I think all of us were in a bit of (happy) shock when the judge passed the sentence. Hopefully our story may have inspired other women who have been abused to come forward. Nothing can be done until that happens.
      Thankyou again for your lovely words and support

      R xxxx

  25. roswellivory August 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    Thankyou so much for your support- that was a really interesting article! :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #NotAllPhotographers and Prison Rape | Charlotte Sometimes - July 30, 2014

    […] I have nothing but the deepest respect for those women who have gone through the process of being a … Truly, that must have been a terrible experience. It can be hard for models to be taken seriously in instances like this because you know, they’re getting almost naked for strangers. It’s a bit like ‘She was wearing a short skirt m’lud’. […]

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