Iain Dale 7pm - 10pm
"I Faced My Paedophile Attacker In Court": Powerful Call From Victim
16 February 2018, 10:23
This child abuse victim told Ian Collins that facing his abuser in court allowed him to finally take back power.
As Ian was discussing the Barry Bennell verdicts, 'David' called up to tell his heartbreaking story.
At the age of 10, he was groomed and abused by a drama group leader in his mid-40s.
He told Ian how it started, with the man inviting him to come earlier to set up and stay later than his friends. After a while, he started to touch him.
"I was naïve at first. And as the abuse become worse, I quickly realised it was wrong. It went on for about a month.
"I eventually managed to lash out at him and run. By the time I got home, I'd come up with an excuse of why I didn't want to go back there and explained it all away. I didn't explain to anyone what had happened.
"Throughout college and work, I was so low about myself. I threw myself into work.
"But I had a breakdown. Once, I very nearly hung myself."
That was when he decided to go to the police.
It took some time - over two years from when he reported it - but eventually the police managed to piece together what had happened and arrested him.
In December 2016, he went to court to see him, 30 years after he had been abused. The man was jailed for nine years, reduced to six on appeal.
The abuser never apologised, but David said that seeing him in court really helped him put the incident behind him.
"I couldn't take my eyes off him," David said. "But he couldn't even look at me. And that's the most empowering moment for me.
"All these years, he had been this monster inside my head. I remembered me being a 10-year-old and this monster was attacking me. Now, he's in prison."