Bethan Evans, Reporter
Monday, January 14, 2013
A WESTON teenager says she is haunted by the rape and sexual assaults she suffered at the hands of her ‘controlling’ father, who told her he ‘owned’ her body until she turned 18, a court has heard.
The Kewstoke father, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, was this week found guilty on eight counts including one of rape, and others of sexual assault, and inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, on his daughter at their family home.
He has also been charged with another six counts of sexual assault on his child, and four charges of indecent assault against his sister-in-law when she was aged 10-13.
However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on those additional charges.
The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court the abuse started when she was just six years old.
In a police interview in January 2012, shortly after she told her mother and school counsellor of her father’s behaviour, she said: “When I was little my dad said that you have nobody and no friends, but I’ll be with you if you make a deal with me.
“I was young and I did not know right from wrong and I thought that was normal.”
The teenager told Bristol Crown Court her father would strip her naked after the pair played computer games and would try to have sex with her.
When she refused or ran away, he would ‘block’ her from her family by ignoring her for up to a day, leading her sisters and mother to follow suit.
Rupert Lowe, prosecuting, said: “This was a sexually, physically and emotionally-abusive household.
“He was controlling as a father and husband, using threats and violence to get his way.”
The teenager told the court that, before her parents split, the abuse would occur regularly in the family’s living room, often when her mother and sisters were in the house.
She also said her father would take her to the shed at the bottom of their garden to abuse her.
She said: “He takes me down and talks to me. He says if mum is coming, you just have to get off me.
“Your body is my body and I own it and you cannot have your body until you’re 18. Then he hugs me and just says let’s go inside and start again.
“I said to him ‘it’s horrible’ and he would say ‘OK I’ll stop, I just can’t help it’.
“He said ‘I’m only doing this because I love you’. It’s not right for a dad to do that to their child.”
The father had denied all charges.
During cross examination by Tabitha Macfarlane for the defence, the daughter told the court: “I felt like I wanted to scream at him to stop it but I just did not have the guts to.
“It haunts me in my nightmares now.
“Every time he said I love you it was while he was doing something to me.
“I’m scared about most things in my life now because of what he’s done to me.
“He treated me differently to my sisters. I do not know why but I was completely different.”
Altogether, the charges included two counts of sexual assault on a child aged under 13, two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, four counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 by penetration, four counts of attempted rape of a child under 13, attempted rape and assault by penetration.
The judge sentenced the father to 10 years in prison and ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.