Raped from the age of 5

TWO women who endured 20 years of abuse by a serial child rapist have bravely spoken of their horrific experience in what police have described as 'one of the most distressing

TWO women who endured 20 years of abuse by a serial child rapist have bravely spoken of their horrific experience in what police have described as 'one of the most distressing cases on record'.As children, the victims were subjected to thousands of attacks by Christopher Martin, who was sent to prison for 17 years at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (August 24).They hope by sharing what they went through they will encourage other rape victims to come forward.The first victim, now aged 30, said she cannot remember a day when the abuse did not happen. Martin, aged 54, even tried to abuse her after she had her first child.She said: "My first memory of it happening was looking down and seeing my blue T-bar shoes and grey tights, smelling oily, sweaty hands and the heavy breathing."He was so forceful I had no choice. If I fought back it made it worse, it hurt more."I was abused from the age of five until I was 17. "I was petrified and knew when it was going to happen. Sometimes it was on trips to the beach, or on trips to Bleadon or the Mendips."I am on medication now and I have to have counselling, I don't know for how long."He used to tell me he would kill me. There was a gun behind the sofa so I believed him. I still believe him."He has completely taken my childhood away from me. I will never get that back."My husband has been so supportive throughout the whole time, he is my rock."At first she thought she was the only victim, but was driven to take action when she found out there was a second victim.Now aged 22, the second victim says she did not realise what was happening to her as Martin made her feel like it was normal.She said: "He threatened me a lot and said things like 'don't tell anyone, I will kill you if you tell anyone' and I believed him. I was really scared of him and when I was younger I had an eating disorder and he would force feed me."He used to put his hands down my pants to see if I smelled of sex."He would say things like I didn't love him and I would have to tell him I did love him. He would also say really nasty things to me and make me cry and then say he was only joking."The court case took two years to complete and during the trial one jury member walked out because she could not deal with what she was hearing and others were crying at what was being described.Martin was finally found guilty of 33 counts of rape and 10 serious acts of assault and gross indecency dating back to 1985.The first victim said: "I am so pleased with the outcome, I really thought he would get away with it."It feels really weird to finally be over. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, it is a really weird feeling. "He only has three years left to live because he has leukaemia. It is a weird feeling that I can't even explain. He has always been there. He always made me love him."The second victim added: "I think he has got what he deserves and I feel like I can finally move on. It will be hard but I have a partner to support me through it."We both hope other people will come forward if it is happening to them. It is hard but it is so much better once it is out in the open."The women want to thank DC Philip Aspinall of Weston CID who they say was there for them throughout the investigation.DC Aspinall said: "I have been a detective for a long time and this is the most distressing case I have ever been involved with, it doesn't get any more serious than this."Words cannot describe what they have both been through. Both victims have been subjected to the most serious abuse and I hope they can rebuild their lives."The sentence I think was appropriate and I really hope the victims can get closure."*If anyone has been a victim of rape or serious sexual assault and needs help call 0845 456 7000.

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