The couple have since been jailed for their horrendous crimes and Colleen Smith, 22, has decided to waive her anonymity to encourage other victims to seek help
Image: Colleen Smith)
A woman who was brutally attacked and raped by a couple she believed were her friends says she has been scarred for life and feels “broken”.
Colleen Smith had only recently moved in with Samantha Hart and Charlie Olding, who she considered to be friends, when the couple dragged her into their cellar where they filmed themselves raping her.
Some of the stomach-churning attack was filmed by Olding’s cousin Lee Kitchiner, who was 17 at the time.
The couple have since been jailed and Colleen, 22, has bravely decided to waive her anonymity to encourage other victims to seek help.
Speaking to the Daily Star, she said she has been “scarred for life” and has nightmares in which she wakes up screaming.
“What they did was make me feel not wanted, ashamed and lonely,” she said. “I sometimes get voices in my head telling me I’m worthless. I was a happy and lively person but now I’m down and depressed.“I am just a broken person now.”
Colleen, from Medway, Kent, moved in with the couple in October 2020 and found the pair “constantly argued” creating a tense atmosphere in the house.
Three weeks after moving, on September 10, Colleen headed out with a friend to the pub, where they enjoyed some drinks. But at some point during the night, Olding and Hart began to call her.
Colleen recalled: “I even said to my friend it was weird because they never ring me that much. My mate told me not to go back and she had an instinct that something was going to happen. I told her not to be silly and that nothing will happen.
“I thought they were my friends.”
Colleen’s pal gave her a lift to the home in Chatham, Kent, and the vile abuse started shortly after.
Hart, Olding and Kitchiner were waiting for her in the alleyway beside the property, where they “smacked” Colleen in the face before throwing her phone onto train tracks.
She was then dragged into the home and ordered to go down to the cellar.
Colleen said: “I have never been a fighter and I don’t like arguments so I was more shocked than anything. I was totally shocked like ‘why would you do this?’ and it was just very confusing.
“I hoped it was a dream and I was going to wake up any minute, but obviously it wasn’t a dream.”
Colleen said she was eventually forced to perform a sex act on Olding, while being filmed.
Next, Olding proceeded to rape her as the others watched.
She said: “I was trying my hardest to tell them to stop but they wouldn’t stop.
“I could see they were filming and I was thinking in my head are they going to send this to my friends? Are they going to send this to people so they can laugh at me and that’s what I was worried about. I didn’t know if I was going to live or not.”
The brutality lasted six hours before the trio eventually went upstairs to go to bed.
At this point, around 11.30am, a badly hurt Colleen decided to try and flee, legging it to a friend’s house.
“I thought ‘if I don’t run I will die – If I don’t run I’m gone and my family won’t even know’,” she said.
Colleen reached her friend’s home and the police arrived 20 minutes later.
She was taken to hospital with a suspected broken eye socket and the despicable trio were arrested.
Colleen was eventually diagnosed with PTSD before she bravely gave evidence via video link during the trial at Maidstone Crown Court earlier this year.
The court was shown more than 30 video clips from Olding’s phone of the brutal assault. Hart and Olding, 32 and 22, from Chatam, Kent, were convicted of rape and causing a person to engage in sexual activity – receiving 11 and 10 years respectively.
AFP via Getty Images)
Meanwhile Kitchiner, now 18, from Strood, Kent, was found guilty of the sexual activity offence and was cleared of rape and assault.
He was handed a two-year custodial sentence suspended for two years, along with 200 hours of unpaid work, 30 rehabilitation sessions, and a 12-month curfew.
Judge Philip Statman said: “Each of you made callous, disgusting remarks about how this act should be performed.
“It caused your victim to be violated and she felt embarrassed and disgusted by what she was being told to do. This was a grave attack of a sexual nature perpetrated on your victim.”
Colleen added: “I wanted to go to the sentencing to look them in the eye to show them what they have done to me but I couldn’t. But I thought it was an amazing sentence because I feared they would be let free.
“I hope they get what they deserve in prison for what they did to me.”
Colleen is now taking things one day at a time and dreams of one day being her old self, able to live her life the way she wants, independently, without looking over her shoulder.
“Thankfully my mum and my siblings have got me through this. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would be here,” she said.
“I’m not going to say I’m doing really well but I’m getting there. I am starting to be me again, well trying to. It has been so hard.”
Colleen wants to now speak out to encourage other survivors who may be dealing with trauma alone to get support.
She said: “Don’t be scared to speak about what you have been through. Please tell someone, I’ve learned that if you tell someone you can get the support you need.
“It’s so important not to bottle it up like I did.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.