Two models who were sexually assaulted by a Hackney fashion photographer tell ELL of their ordeals in the hope they may encourage other victims to come forward.
Photographer Shaun Colclogh, 40, was handed a seven year sentence for assault at the Snaresbrook Crown Court on August 1, 2014.
The two women he attacked (who cannot be named for legal reasons) told our reporter that they feared Colclough, was going to rape and murder them in his dingy studio.
They agreed to give an exclusive interview to Eastlondonlines in the hope that the publicity might encourage other victims to go to the police.
During the photo shoots Colclough ask his victims intimate questions and bullied them into striking explicit poses before he attacked them. One woman, who is now aged 29, thought that Colclough was a renowned photographer – but found his studio did not even have a sink or toilet.
“My initial impressions were that he stank of booze. He also was overly friendly – he hugged and kissed me when he met me,” the Buckinghamshire model recalled.
“Often in creative industries you come across eccentrics so I tried to be accepting with his behaviour.
“After all he was a high-end photographer, why should I be suspicious?”
Colclough told her they were going to shoot ‘art nudes’ as well as fashion pictures – but then began asking questions about her boyfriend and her sexual preferences.
“There was nowhere for me to change in his small studio so he didn’t give me an option to change elsewhere so I had to change in front of him,” the model said. Colclough ordered her to strip and strike obscene poses, claiming they would give the best ‘facial expression.”
“At this stage I remember feeling scared by his actions I felt as if I didn’t have any say in the situation,” she recalled.
Colclough took his own clothes off before he sexually assaulted her.
“I felt like I was going to scream. I knew that if I shouted or used force against him then it might turn out worse for me,” she said.
“Not only was he trying to rape me but he might have intentions of killing me so I softly said: “I need to leave because otherwise I will miss the last train home.””
“He was trying to rape me and I felt that he could have killed me. He overpowered me and made me feel so scared.
“He tried to persuade me to stay but I was able to convince him that it wasn’t possible. He let me go, as the gates were locked he had to let me out. As I left he awkwardly hugged and kissed me.”
The model was left devastated by her ordeal.
“I couldn’t accept what had happened I was so afraid and traumatised by all of this,” she recalled.
“I was able to testify via video link without that option I probably wouldn’t have got though the trial,” she said.
“It is all worth it especially as we have achieved justice. I felt empowered because I was able to sit in the public gallery and see Colclough’s face as the seven year sentence was being passed.
“Considering his previous offences, and the fact that he was so confident in what he was doing I think there has to be other victims,” she said.
“He is sick-minded individual who is a threat to others. I will never get over what he did to me.”
Five women complained to the police but Colclough of (176) Amhurst Road, Hackney, was only convicted of sexually assaulting the model and a probation officer who modelled part-time.
The probation officer, is a 31 year old from the West Midlands who had been modelling on a part time basis.
She got in touch with Colclough through Model Mayhem, a website which brings together models and photographers.
“He appeared to be quite a good photographer and I fell into a trap. I didn’t take up references and I didn’t get in touch with other models who had worked with him,” she said.
“What happened to me was hours of degradation and humiliation.”
The model told Colclough she was a probation officer and he began asking questions about her job showing her that he had knowledge of the justice system than only a serious criminal could have.
“I knew I was in a room with a monster. I knew there was something very dangerous about him,” she said.
“I was asked in court why I didn’t try to escape. But where would I run to? I was in the middle of an industrial estate I was terrified of what he would do to me if I tried to run.
“He kept me trapped in this room I just felt so scared.
“The thought went through my mind – I am not going to get out of here alive?”
Colclough sexually assaulted the woman before he allowed her to leave the studio.
“Afterwards I was in shock. I didn’t even accept he was a photographer. I thought somehow the man who attacked me had taken the place of Shaun Colclough,” the woman said.
It was not until she was in court that the model was shown the pictures he had taken of her.
“To see the pictures of me looking that scared just broke me. I looked terrified. I looked like a hunted animal,” she said.
“He was listening to me being degraded all over again. He was probably loving it.”
“I don’t think he should ever be taking pictures again. I don’t think he should even be allowed to own a camera.
“He does not care who his victims are just so long as he is getting his sexual gratification from fear and terror.
“I don’t like to think about what he has done, and what he has got away with.”