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A grieving mum has slammed police after her daughter who alleged she was raped was discouraged from bringing forward a complaint against the accused perpetrator.

Semina Halliwell died on June 12 last year after alleging she was raped by an older boy who attended the same school as her and had groomed her over Snapchat.

An initial coroner’s inquiry is ongoing at the Sefton, St Helens & Knowsley Coroner’s Service with a full inquest into the 12-year-old’s death due be held in due course.

Her mum, Rachel, reached out to police after Semina broke down and told her about the rape following a severe incident of self-harm.

Instead of support, family present with Semina during police interviews claim Merseyside Police “made Semina feel like she was an inconvenience to them”.

No charges have been brought against the alleged perpetrator Semina named.

The inquest comes in the wake of new figures published by the Ministry of Justice in January which revealed that the number of alleged rape victims forced to wait more than two years for trials to come to court had more than quadrupled since the start of the pandemic.

Semina Halliwell, 12, from Southport, died on Saturday June 12 after spending four nights in hospital.
Submitted picture
Credit: Liverpool Echo
Semina Halliwell, 12, from Southport, died on Saturday June 12 after spending four nights in hospital.
Rachel said she contacted the police after Semina broke down and told her what had happened following a severe incident of self-harm ( Image: Liverpool Echo)

The statistics showed that in the last quarter of 2019 a total of 10 cases took more than two years to get to court after suspects were charged – rising to almost 50 in the final three months of last year.

The schoolgirl was allegedly told she would not “want this hanging over your head” because the case “wouldn’t go to court for 18 months or two years”.

Her grief-stricken mother and Semina’s aunt Clare Halliwell told Sky News the lead detective told Semina “basically, it’s your word against his”.

Merseyside Police are also accused of not informing Semina’s school about the reported rape, despite assuring the family safeguarding would be in place – meaning she was forced to stay at home as she was not protected from coming into contact with her alleged rapist.

Rachel said her daughter had been subjected to brutal bullying online in the wake of the alleged rape.

On the harassment and witness intimidation campaign Semina endured, Rachel told Sky News: “[Bullies] said anyone going to the police are going to go get their heads kicked in.

“And that’s exactly what happened. Semina was beaten up three times, videoed, her [sibling] was beaten up in school.”

Three months after her initial report, the family undertook its last police interview at their home which concluded with Semina saying “I’ve had enough of this” and leaving for her bedroom.

Tragically Semina had gone upstairs to take a lethal dose of a toxic drug used to treat a chronic condition.

Semina was placed into an induced coma and suffered multiple organ failures over the next few days before dying.

Rachel told Sky News: “It was horrific to watch my daughter pass away.”

She added: “We had to watch her die, her body shut down first. No parent should go through that.”

Despite their horrific loss, the family claims they were not left in peace to grieve, but instead subjected to a brutal campaign of harassment.

Clare and Rachel claim brutal videos of attacks Semina endured were directed at the family on social media following the funeral, as were messages celebrating her death.

Similar to the rape allegations, the family alleges police failed to properly investigate these instances of harassment.

Clare said: “We’ve been robbed of a massive piece of our family, and for the last nine and a half months we’ve been robbed of the ability to grieve that loss.”

Merseyside Police declined the opportunity to discuss the allegations raised by Semina’s family, adding as the matter is being considered by the coroner “it is not appropriate for Merseyside Police to comment on any of the substantive issues raised at this time”, so as not to prejudice the Coronial Investigation.

The force did however confirm it received a report on March 23, 2021, that a 12-year-old girl had been raped at an address in Southport on February 25, 2021.

A spokesperson for Snapchat was unable to confirm whether the app had received any requests for information from Merseyside Police in Semina’s case.

They said: “This situation is devastating and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our community. We strictly prohibit bullying, harassment and other types of unwanted contact.”

They added: “Our global law enforcement operations team supports police investigations, and we have the ability to preserve and provide content to the authorities when we receive requests for assistance.”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “This is a heartbreaking case and our thoughts are with Semina’s family and loved ones.

“No woman or girl should live in fear of violence or sexual abuse and victims should never be denied the justice they deserve.”

They added: “This is why we are committed to ensuring more perpetrators face the full force of the law and overhauling our response to rape including increased funding for victim support services.

“It is important that the coroner is given the space to reach their conclusions and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”