‘We’ve been to hell and back’: The story every mum in Skegness should read

Nathan James Patten . ANL-170910-083820001
Nathan James Patten . ANL-170910-083820001

In a week a top criminal barrister has said men should not sleep with women who have drunk alcohol, a ​teenage Skegness girl has spoken openly of her harrowing experience as the victim of a sex attacker.

James Nathan Patten, of Sea View Road, was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment after pleading guilty​ ​at Lincoln Crown Court to ‘engaging in penetrative sex with the girl’, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He will also have to sign to the sex offenders register for 10 years and a life injunction was given with a condition to not contact the victim.

Following sentencing, the girl’s mother praised the special investigation team from Operation Emerald, (formed at Lincolnshire Police in 2011 following a rise in sexual assault cases across the county), for the way they handled the case.


Tower Gardens in Skegness. ANL-170910-083639001

Tower Gardens in Skegness. ANL-170910-083639001

The mother of the underage victim of a sex attacker said the family had been to “hell and back” ​since the attack.

She said the incident had taken place in Tower Gardens​ earlier this year after her daughter had been to a party.

“There was lots of alcohol consumed and my daughter, without my permission or knowledge, was very intoxicated,” she said.

“It seems she went outside where she was seen to be very unsteady and wobbly on her feet. The defendant aLso went outside and then they went missing.

“They were found in Tower Gardens where he had penetrated her. He was seen on CCTV near the park carrying her in. She was unable to recall much about the evening but knew something had occurred and came home and reported it to me.”

Speaking exclusively to the Standard, the girl’s mother asked that extracts of her daughter’s heartfelt statement to the court be shared, not only to highlight the impact of the man’s actions but also to show how proud they are of how she stood up to get justice and is determined not to let the incident stop her from following her dream.

Her mother said: “Her whole family and friends stood in court to support her. She has been diagnosed with post traumatic trauma and is now able to get the help she needs.

“​We will make sure this awful event doesn’t hold her back from achieving ​her dream​s​.

“We are so proud how in spite of it all she continued with her ​school work near enough straight after this happened, and achieved top grade​s​.

“She is strong and as a family we are strong.”


The ​teenage victim of a sex attacker in Skegness says her anxiety is getting worse, “knowing that it’s getting closer to the time when it happened”.

In her impact statement to the court, which she has given the Standard permission to be published, she said: “I don’t feel safe and I get progressively more and more resistant to leaving my house.

“Everything has become increasingly harder to deal with. I suffered terribly with wanting to stay in my room, confining in the safety of my bed because that’s where I felt calmest.

“Leaving my house caused not just intense anxiety, but bad dissociation.

“I found everyone intimidating, not being able to walk past someone without holding my breath and ready to call the police with my phone on the dial screen.

“There was days where I just couldn’t focus, nothing would go in my head, the words wouldn’t write on paper, and I’d feel numb.

“Other days I spent in a quiet art room, just crying. I spent so many days going into school with two hours sleep at the most, finding myself almost collapsing in the toilets or lessons and having to lay down in a confined space from everyone else.

“But sleeping was something I was scared of, because the dreams I had were horrific.

“Not just nightmares of what happened, but sometimes extreme themes of rape, violence and death.

“It was during this time that I was very, very depressed.

“I felt like I had no control of where my life was going, knowing that someone could and had very easily removed that control, and that I was simply getting up, changed and out the door because that’s all I had left that I could do.

“I find walking down the street difficult, especially if I’m on my own. As soon as it gets dark, I have to run away to somewhere that’s safe, or I have to call my dad to pick me up, because I cannot handle it.

“Any tall male, of any build (but more often the one similar to his), causes really bad panic attacks and flashbacks.

“During the past few months, my emotions have become more physical. I’m always low and I’m always angry,

“Often this impacts my social life, school life and my emotional wellbeing, and always takes weeks to recover.

“It’s not just detrimental to my grades, but I don’t want to be alive during these times.

“I find it hard to focus and find myself secluding myself from those around me. It becomes so bad that I spend every day not wanting to wake up.”