A bride went ahead with her wedding plans despite strong accusations from her best friend that the groom had raped her.
The bride, April had shunned her best friend who was supposed to be her bridesmaid for exposing her fiance's repulsive attack.
April went ahead with the wedding three weeks before the groom went on trial for the rape of her best friend.
29-yr-old Royal Army Medical Corps officer Daniel Howard, was sentenced to seven years behind bars last week, Mirror UK reports.
April and her former best friend were pals since their university days and thought their friendship would last for a lifetime.
“I was meant to be a bridesmaid at her wedding.
"We were meant to have children at similar times and raise them together. I only said something in the first place to try to protect April.
“I couldn’t have stood in church on her wedding day knowing what had happened and that it would most probably happen again,” the heartbroken victim told reporters.
The attack happened at Howard’s home following a night out in Darlington, County Durham. He left the bed he shared with fiancée April, and went to the room next door to rape her friend, Mirror UK revealed.
The 26-yr-old victim who chose to remain anonymous said her friend's loyalty no longer exists.
She also said her boyfriend had committed suicide after the vile attack because he never forgave himself for switching of his phone when she needed him the most.
“Our whole friendship group has become divided when I most needed my close friends.
“I went travelling around Asia by myself before all this – now I’m scared to live by myself in England.”
“My boyfriend felt partly responsible for what had happened, he had turned his phone off that night. I couldn’t get hold of him.
“He never forgave himself for that. He always worried every time I went somewhere and wouldn’t sleep if I went out, it put a strain on us.”
“He committed suicide a few months after we broke up.
“Even though there were multiple things contributing to this it had quite an effect on him. He was always my rock and supported me through everything. I feel this is partly my fault.
"The rape made me a nightmare girlfriend. He shouldn’t have had to deal with anything like this.”
Howard who was later arrested told the court a ridiculous story explaining how his DNA was found on intimate swabs from his victim.
He claimed she had found a sex toy he had used weeks earlier, hidden in a drawer in the room where she stayed – and had used it to leave the evidence, acting out of jealousy over his relationship, according to Mirror UK.
It was gathered that Howard's claims were quickly ruled as inadmissible by the jury at Teesside crown court, who took just 90 minutes to convict him.
April wept in court as her new husband was found guilty after a four-day trial.
“I’m really upset my friendship with April no longer exists.
“April was my best friend from Uni. I can’t actually believe she doesn’t believe me.
"A person I really cared for and who cared for me has been turned against me.
"I can’t believe April is a witness, fighting against me when we always fought together and for each other,” the victim who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder said.
“He loves April and April loves him so why this happened I will never know.
“I blamed myself until I had counselling. I thought the playsuit I wore was too provocative, but any 24-year-old would have worn it. Then I thought maybe I looked too similar to April.
“I never worried and would dress up in ridiculous outfits at Uni with April, we didn’t care. I’m so conscious of other people’s perceptions now, ” she added.