Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Blind woman hits back at bullies who "nearly destroyed me"


A blind woman who was persecuted by a gang of bullies fought back by filming them with a body camera and handing the incriminating footage to police.

Siobhan Meade, 30, was targeted by the youths after she moved from Norfolk to the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage last year.

"[It] ranged from being sworn at in the street, young people circling me and deliberately walking me into lampposts and nearly being mugged," she told BBC News.

"They actually said 'let's mug her and see how much she can see'... I was horrified.

"It was extremely distressing and it nearly destroyed me as a person... It was intimidating beyond belief."

Meade was born partially sighted and lost her vision completely aged 16.

She launched a respect campaign to combat the abuse after it began late last year and received support from residents of Stevenage, who were horrified by her treatment at the hands of the bullies.

"Everyone who has read my story has been both shocked and disgusted by it," she told thecomet.net earlier this year.

"They have told me that nobody should have to go through this. The majority of the public have been totally and utterly appalled and are right behind me."

Siobhan Meade with her guide dog Mac, photo courtesy of thecomet.net

However, her respect campaign did not go far enough in stopping the gang and eventually she arranged to film the perpetrators as "a last resort".

Meade used her own initiative to approach UK-based video companies and ask for a body-worn camera she could try out.

She then gave the film to police, who contacted the culprits. The abuse then stopped for the most part and Meade no longer felt the need to wear a camera.

"You get the odd silly comment but nothing to the extent it was," she said.

She added that officers had been "so supportive and given me lots of reassurance".

Hertfordshire Police said hate crime was "under-reported for many reasons" and encouraged victims to come forward.

"We are committed to ensuring people with disabilities have increased support and opportunity to report incidents in a safe and secure environment, either to the police or via a third party," a spokesman said.

It's not the first time Meade, a journalist, has campaigned for the rights of people with disabilities. In 2012 she rallied against cuts to the disability living allowance pushed through as part of the coalition government's sweeping benefit reforms.

See more about Meade's campaigns in the video below or on her Twitter feed.

Siobhan campaigns against cuts to disability benefits in a video posted on YouTube in 2012:

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Twitter and thecomet.net



Top five recipes for healthy and sugar-free cakes, puddings and desserts


10 things that are scientifically proven to make you unhappy


Myth and rape: will we ever stamp out victim-blaming in cases of sexual assault?


Michelle Obama urges release of kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria, as UK sends assistance


CCTV footage casts doubt over Amanda Knox alibi


10 weekend breaks under £200



How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9 step guide

A must-read for all women considering themselves 'good girls'

by Harriet Hall
21 Oct 2016

Totally fetch: Rachel McAdams is on board with a Mean Girls reunion

Shut up.

by Moya Crockett
21 Oct 2016

“Criminalising purchase would be a danger to sex workers”

...argues sex worker and activist, Molly Smith

by The Stylist web team
20 Oct 2016

Eyebrows ahoy... A Cara Delevingne documentary is on its way

The Cara Project will follow Delevingne’s transition from model to actress.

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

The best A-list Instagrams of the week so far

From Emily Ratajkowski's team colours to Mindy Kaling's scarlet style

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2016

Hilary Swank wins Oscars, still offered 5% of a male co-star's wage

Because woman < man

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

Ellen DeGeneres reveals the secret to her happy marriage

And it's brilliantly simple

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2016

Amy Schumer shares open letter to Donald Trump supporters

“I shouldn’t have said that he was an orange, sexually-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2016

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall opens up about anorexia battle

“I just wanted to waste away and disappear”

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Kerry Washington chooses old-fashioned name for baby boy

The Scandal star has welcomed her second baby with husband Nnamdi Asomugha

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016