This has wasted years of my life, says Mike Hancock’s victim

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Clockwise from top left, Hayley North, Helene Birt, Hilary Ward and James Cowlishaw outside court

Shamed social worker used dead nan’s blue badge to park in Portsmouth

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The woman subjected to Mike Hancock’s inappropriate behaviour says she finally feels a sense of relief.

Speaking to The News, the emotionally-drained former constituent of Mr Hancock, who is in her 30s, said: ‘I feel numb. I have been in tears this week.

The woman with whom Mike Hancock had an inappropriate friendship

The woman with whom Mike Hancock had an inappropriate friendship

‘This should have happened years ago. I have wasted four years of my life, it has affected me and my son.

‘I feel I should have been taken seriously.

‘If people had done their job properly and there was a system in place that listened to people then this could have been avoided.

‘I don’t think I will be able to ever trust anyone again.

‘But I want to carry on and help other vulnerable people who have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour. There is a sense of relief.’

The woman also believes she was ‘bullied’ during her battle and has backed calls for an investigation to be held into claims of a bullying culture at Portsmouth City Council.

And the woman says the issue she went to Mr Hancock with in the first place, with regards to noisy neighbours in 2009, has still yet to be resolved after all this time.

Her teenage son, who has stood by his mum during her campaign for justice, said: ‘I think justice has been served and it’s enough for me.

‘But the apology doesn’t account for the last four years.

‘My mum has been very strong, and we have gone through ups and downs together.

‘I think Mike Hancock should stand down from the Lib Dem party permanently and as an MP.

‘His authority has been breached too many times.’

Meanwhile, the woman’s legal representative Harriet Wistrich, of Birnberg Peirce and Partners, praised her client’s courage.

‘I pay tribute to my client, who has battled for justice for years and faced extraordinary hurdles,’ she said.

‘It is outrageous that she was blocked from having her complaint investigated and resolved by so many of the regulatory systems that should have been available to her.

‘I hope that members of parliament will now consider this case and appreciate the need for the sort of regulation that already applies to most professions, to be extended to these sorts of relationships.’