Victim speaks of trauma caused by sex pest

Reece Budgen
Reece Budgen

A victim of a serial teenage ‘groper’ who targeted women and young girls in Ilkeston is still “traumatised” months after being assaulted, a relative has revealed.

Eighteen-year-old Reece Budgen has been locked up for 21 months after admitting six counts of sexual assault.

After sentence was passed at Derby Crown Court, a relative of one of the victims spoke exclusively and anonymously to the Advertiser about the ordeal her family had endured.

She said: “She is still far from ok. The one thing that has helped her is knowing he is off the streets but she is still traumatised about what happened.

“I’m still trying to get her to a doctor, she is rapidly losing weight and has been since what happened and needs help.”

Budgen (also known as Smith) of Canal Street, Ilkeston, was sent to a young offenders’ institute. The court heard that he pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to assaulting six women over a five-week period earlier this year. He smacked his victims, aged between 15 and 60, on the bottom.

The father-of-two had only been released in January after serving time for similar offences — something the relative of the victim who spoke to the ‘Tiser said was a ‘kick in the teeth’.

“We knew he’d done it before as someone else had told us. To think he was out and doing the same again is disgusting,” she said.

As for the latest sentence, she added: “I’m gutted he only got 21 months.

“He is off the streets for now but he has done this over and over again already. Will young girls be safe?”

Speaking about the case, Detective Constable Rob Nicholls, told the Advertiser that Budgen had been re-housed in Ilkeston following his release from prison and committed the offences when he was on the way to a work placement which formed part of his sentence.

On another occasion he had just been to an interview with his probation officer. DC Nicholls said: “The problem got worse the longer it went on. In the case of the 17-year-old, he followed her up Bath Street for about a mile.

“He completely denied the offences and has shown no remorse, even when he pleaded guilty.”

He said there was a chance that other women had been assaulted by Budgen but had not reported it.