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Thursday 27 October 2016

Nanny who survived 'appalling torture' by Fred and Rose West dies

Rod Minchin

Published 18/08/2016 | 08:53

Serial killers Fred and Rose West
Serial killers Fred and Rose West

A nanny who worked for serial killers Fred and Rose West has died from cancer, a family friend has confirmed.

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Caroline Roberts, 61, who as a teenager survived a terrifying attack by the twisted pair, died earlier this month after only recently being diagnosed with the disease.

Family friend Andy Jones, who runs the Crime Through Time museum in Littledean, Gloucestershire, paid tribute to his friend of many years.

"She was always a very brave, caring, much-loved lady and mother who had survived appalling torture and abuse at the hands of evil serial killers Fred and Rose West," he said.

"Caroline would never shy away from telling her traumatic life story and always felt a strong sense of guilt that she survived whilst many others did not."

Mrs Roberts, who was a key prosecution witness in Rose West's trial, was abducted and sexually attacked at the "House of Horrors" where she worked for them as a nanny in 1972. She had been picked up by the couple when she was hitchhiking aged 17.

She said she was haunted by the fact that if she had pursued a rape charge against Fred West it might have stopped some of the murders.

Speaking in 2004, she said: "I felt guilty the other girls died. I wished I had gone to court with the rape charge as Fred might have been locked away for a couple of years and some of them could have survived."

Fred West killed himself in prison while awaiting trial on 12 murder charges, while Rosemary was convicted in 1995 of murdering 10 young girls and women.

Mrs Roberts, a mother of four, wrote The Lost Girl in 2004 in a bid to put the horrors of Cromwell Street behind her.

She said: "I did feel a lot of guilt and do wish I had done something, but writing the book helped me come to terms with everything.

"Now I don't think it's my fault. There's been a lot of tragedy in my life and I've always felt jinxed.

"Now I feel like a survivor."

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