Left for dead!

What made Allan turn from friend to twisted fiend?

Published by: Polly Taylor and Sharon Ward
Published on: 27th January 2011

My partner David’s suitcase was packed and waiting by the front door. ‘You’d better go,’ I said, hugging him. ‘I’m going to miss you.’
‘Me, too,’ he said, squeezing back.
He’d be at a conference for three days, but you know what it’s like when you’re in love – three days apart feels more like three months!
Ever since we’d met at a convention a year earlier, we’d hated being apart – just that morning we’d decided to move in together! ‘I’m here all the time, anyway!’ David had smiled.
Now, I waved him off and smiled at all the plans we’d made. Moving in was the first step. After that, marriage, kids… we’d talked about it all, it was what we both wanted.
By that night, I was already missing David. When the doorbell rang at 10pm, it was a welcome distraction. Still, I wasn’t just going to let any Tom, Dick, or Harry in at this time of night, so peered through the peephole.
Blimey, it was my old friend Allan Sinclair, 43.
‘What are you doing here?’ I gasped, opening the door.
‘I was driving through the area,’ he smiled, gesturing at his silver four-by-four parked outside. ‘Thought I’d say hi.’
‘Come in,’ I sang. ‘Gosh, it’s been ages…’
‘Three years,’ he nodded. ‘Last time I saw you was when we did your garden.’
‘I remember!’ I smiled.
I’d met Allan seven years earlier while working as an assistant at a doctor’s surgery. He’d come in with back pain, and I’d been in charge of his six-week treatment.
Sweet, and softly spoken, we’d got on great, even shared the same interests – skiing, gardening, photography…
Then, when his treatment was nearly over, he’d asked me out. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t,’ I’d replied, taken aback. ‘It wouldn’t be proper for me to date a patient.’
Truth was, even if Allan hadn’t been a patient, I’d have turned him down. Sweet as he was, I’d never thought of him as anything but a pal.
‘As friends?’ he’d blushed.
So, I’d given in. Next night, we’d gone for a drink. At the end of the evening, though, Allan had tried to kiss me. Stunned, I’d pushed him away. ‘I just want to be friends,’ I’d told him firmly.
‘Sorry,’ he’d mumbled. After that, he’d stopped calling me.
Then, a year later, I’d bumped into him at the garden centre where he worked, and he’d offered to help me replant my garden.
For a moment, I’d hesitated…that kiss! But that was in the past.
As we’d worked away that weekend, my friend Annette had popped over, and I’d introduced her to Allan. They’d hit it off, and started dating.
But, three months later, Annette had told me he’d dumped her without saying why. ‘He just stopped calling,’ she’d said, baffled.
Well, whatever his reason, Allan was still a friend. That night I’d called him, left a message saying I was sorry things hadn’t worked. But I’d heard nothing from him. Until now…
‘Want to see some photographs?’ he asked, stepping into the living room, and slipping his laptop bag off his shoulder. He’d always been a keen photographer.
‘Love to,’ I said.
Turning on his computer, he flicked through the pictures he’d taken. ‘Just a sec,’ he said eventually. ‘I need to get something from my computer bag.’
As he rummaged behind the sofa where he’d left it, I sighed quietly. It was getting late… I didn’t fancy another slide show.
‘Allan…’ I started.
But before I could finish, I felt something cold and metallic pressing against the back of my head, heard a loud click.
‘It’s loaded,’ he sneered.
A gun!
I froze. Had Allan lost his mind?
‘Lie face down on the couch,’ he hissed. I couldn’t see a way out. If I ran, surely he’d open fire?
Thoughts flashed through my head. My cat Coco pawing my bloody, lifeless body. David hearing I’d been murdered…
But if I followed his instructions, what would be next? Maybe I could talk him round…
Turning slowly, I forced myself to stare, unblinking, into Allan’s suddenly cold, blue eyes. His face showed no emotion as he aimed the gun at my forehead.
‘Allan,’ I whispered. ‘What are you doing? I’m your friend.’
No reply. Slowly, I reached for the gun, gestured for him to move it away from my face – and he did.
‘What’s wrong?’ I pleaded, heart pounding. ‘Can I help?’
‘No,’ he spat.
‘But we’re friends…’ I started.
‘No,’ he said again.
There was no reasoning with him… I had to get out.
Adrenaline was racing through my body, but any sudden movements and I was sure he’d shoot me.
Slowly, very slowly, I inched towards the front door.
Allan moved with me, not
taking his eyes off me.
But he didn’t seem to realise what I was planning, he clearly wasn’t thinking straight.
When I reached it, we were face to face, my back to my escape route. But he’d let me get this far. I had to keep him calm, before he aimed the gun at me again.
‘Allan, we’re friends,’ I soothed.
Raising my hand, I reached for the door handle, didn’t break eye contact… In a flash I threw it open and made a run for it, adrenaline pumping through my veins.
Any second now, I’d be out of his range. ‘Help!’ I screamed, making it to the end of the driveway. ‘Please help!’
I heard the bang of the gun at the same time as pain flashed through my right foot. Before I hit the ground, a second shot pierced the air and ripped through my back. Lifted me off my feet, then threw me on the ground like a rag doll.
For a moment, I lay there in shock, as blood soaked through my t-shirt – I was still alive!
Adrenaline still surged through me, though – I couldn’t give up now. I had to get away before he shot me again.
I willed my legs to move, but nothing happened. They were numb, no longer felt connected to the rest of my body. ‘Come on,’ I groaned, straining hard.
Suddenly, Allan bolted past me, jumping into his truck.
But as he started the engine, I realised in horror he wasn’t about to drive off…
He backed it out – then steered it towards me!
‘Please don’t!’ I screamed, as I lay helpless, the tyres crunching slowly over the gravel towards me.
I tried scrambling away, the gravel shredding the palms of my hands.
But as the tyres reached my feet they kept on going, grinding over my legs like a steamroller.
It sounded like an elephant crushing peanuts under its feet. I felt no pain, though, could only watch as my bones were crushed. I must have been in shock.
Further and further, the truck rolled up my body agonisingly slowly. It reached my left hip. There was a sickening crunch and pain ripped through me, white hot and
Allan had stopped the truck now. But not because he’d had enough. Instead, I felt the tyres twisting left, right, left, right… Oh God… Allan was turning the wheel, grinding the weight of the truck into me.
Just when I thought it would never end, he pulled forward, bumping over my right hip and arm with a mighty crack as he turned the truck and sped off.
For a moment, I lay silently on the driveway, flattened like a bug.
Slowly, painfully, I tried to scream. Took a deep breath, lifted my head and…
No! Allan was back, walking toward me now. He was coming to finish me off.
Grabbing my ankles, he dragged me roughly across the driveway, and, with a grunt, tossed me in the bushes, hidden from view.
‘Why?’ I groaned.
No reply.
From the corner of my eye, I watched as he picked up the empty bullet casings from the driveway, and shoved them into his jeans pocket. Then he climbed back into his truck, and drove off.
This was it then, I’d die here in these bushes, hidden away and unable to move.
Suddenly, I heard sirens. Police officers and paramedics ran toward me – neighbours must have heard my screams and called them.
As I was lifted on to a stretcher, I could feel myself fading, dying. I had to find the strength…
‘Allan Sinclair,’ I whispered. Then everything went black.
Waking up in hospital the next day with my mum Anne-Marie, 72, and David at my bedside, I couldn’t believe I was alive.
‘Thank God,’ David gasped as
I opened my eyes. ‘I thought I’d lost you.’
Memories of the attack flooded back to me – a bullet ripping through my spine, heavy tyres steamrollering over me.
Shifting in my bed, something occurred to me… I couldn’t feel my legs.
‘Am I going to be okay?’ I whimpered as a doctor entered the room.
‘The bullet shattered your spine, sliced through your liver,’ he said gravely. ‘We did everything we could, but I’m afraid you’ll never walk again.’
I felt sick. ‘But… I… he…why?’ I cried, unable to take it in. ‘Why did he do this?’
Allan hadn’t killed me, but he’d sentenced me to the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
The worst news was yet to come, though.
‘I’m afraid your womb and pelvis were so badly crushed that you’ll never have children,’ the doctor told me. ‘I’m sorry.’
My world caved in.
All I could do was cry as David held me in his arms.
We’d had so many plans, and Allan had snatched them away from me.
The following day, police took my statement.
They’d already arrested Allan after finding him passed out over the steering wheel of his car in 32ºC heat an hour from my home.
He’d told them he’d been trying to fry himself because he’d shot me, and didn’t deserve to live.
‘I have no idea why he did this to me,’ I told the officer.
‘He was planning to rape you,’ he replied, shaking his head.
‘We found rope, a knife, latex gloves, condoms…’
So that was why he’d wanted me to lie on the sofa.
‘We also found bleach,’ he added.
‘We think he’d have used it to clean up the evidence afterwards.’
He was planning to tie me up, rape me, torture me, then… dispose of me. Could this really be because I’d rejected his advances all those years ago?
I’d never get to find
out, though. Although I faced Allan in court to explain to the judge what he did to me, he’s never said what drove him to this.
In floods of tears, he just sat in the dock, hanging his head.
When asked why, he simply replied that I’d always been kind to him and hadn’t done anything to deserve him attacking me.
Had he stalked me for years, and seeing me happy with David sent him over the edge?
I don’t know, no one does.
It seems that he just turned up, out of the blue, to destroy my life.
Allan Sinclair pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder, so there was no trial.
He was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kidnap, rape and murder me.
I spent six months in hospital, learning to use a wheelchair, building up the strength in my upper body.
But every time I thought about the things I’d never do – walk down the aisle at my wedding, have kids, all I could do was cry.
‘I’ve brought your favourite,’ David said, coming into the hospital one evening with home-cooked steak and chips.
But I couldn’t eat. All I thought about was laying broken on my driveway.
If I’d known things were going to end up like this, would I have fought so hard to survive? Probably not.
David stood by me, and encouraged me every step of the way. But by the time I was allowed  to move back home, I was a different person.
‘I love you,’ I told David. ‘But I can’t do this any more.’
I was devastated – Allan had wiped out every hope and dream I’d had for the future.
Now, despite living in constant pain, I’ve grown more positive.
I take part in 5km sponsored races using a specially-adapted bike to raise money for other women who’ve been victims of violent attacks.
I get emails from women saying that I’ve inspired them to carry on when they felt like giving up on life, too.
For now, helping others is all I have left – thank God Allan isn’t around to take that away from me.
Christine Kent, 46, Fort Lauderdale, Florida