August 2003

Relief as abuser gets 18 months

A DETECTIVE who helped bring paedophile Peter Abbots-Darbyshire to justice, said putting perverts behind bars was a career highpoint.

Det Con Nicky Rodwell was at Swindon Crown Court on Tuesday when 53-year-old Abbots-Darbyshire, was jailed for 18 months for the systematic abuse of two sisters in Warminster.

Abbots-Darbyshire started abusing an 11-year-old girl in September 1981, continuing until 1983 before turning to her younger sister, who had just turned 11, a year later.

The abuse came to light when the two sisters, who now live outside of Wiltshire, went to police stations last year.

DC Rodwell, of Trowbridge CID, said the jail sentence highlighted to other victims how it was never too late to come forward.

She said: “I had a lot of corroboration throughout this inquiry which goes to show just because the abuse happened a long time ago it doesn’t mean victims should not come forward.

“There is no-one else I would rather put behind bars than paedophiles.”

Calling the two sisters on the phone after the verdict was read out, DC Rodwell said one was crying as she told them the result.

“I think there was massive relief especially after waiting for so long.

“The court has recognised the damage the abuse has caused them.”

Kerry Barker, prosecuting, revealed how the abuse had ruined the girls’ lives. Talking about one victim he said: “She continues to suffer nightmares, panic attacks and hyperventilation.

“She does not trust men and suffers from paranoia, depression and has felt suicidal.”

Sue Evans, defending, said Abbots-Darbyshire admitted his reign of abuse to his family in 1994 and showed remorse at an early stage, apologising to both of his victims.

She said: “He cannot explain why he behaved as he did. It was appalling.”

Jailing Abbots-Darbyshire, who now lives in Caen Hill Gardens, Devizes, Judge John McNaught said a prison sentence highlighted society’s abhorrence of perverts.

He said: “As you know it has had a serious effect on both of these two girls, now young women.

“The court is bound to mark that by a sentence of imprisonment.”

Abbots-Darbyshire, who pleaded guilty to 12 indecent assaults, blew a kiss to his wife as he was led away from the dock.

He will be released on licence in nine months but will have to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years.

DC Rodwell said she wanted to get a result on the case as a dedication to DC Mike Brown, who died of cancer in June.

DC Brown was the original officer working on the case but had to give up the inquiry when he became too ill to continue.

DC Rodwell said: “I felt like I had to get a result because it was originally his case and he was always so thorough.”