May 2010

Huncoat paedophile ‘who stole woman’s childhood’ jailed

THE victim of a ‘despicable’ paedophile has been praised for her bravery as the man who stole her childhood was finally jailed — 30 years after she was first abused.

The woman said coming forward was ‘the hardest thing I have ever done’ but she ‘wasn’t going to hide any more’ from ‘shameful’ Christopher Jarvie.

In an emotional interview, she said she had sought justice for ‘the little child that I was’.

Jarvie, 63, formerly of Huncoat, was jailed for seven years after admitting nine charges of indecency with a child and sexual assault.

His victim, who was primary school age when the catalogue of sex abuse started, finally reported it to the police last summer.

The mother told how she resolved to come forward after a man was accused of indecently touching her own children in a separate, unconnected case.

She said: “As I sat there in the interview suite watching on a monitor, I felt stupid and ashamed that they had the guts to do it and I hadn’t.

“There were other children involved and it was a real slap in the face for me.

“It was heartbreaking because I knew exactly how they felt. I finally realised I needed to do something for me.”

The suspected paedophile died of a heart attack while on bail months after the allegations, in 2007.

She said: “I was ecstatic. It sounds sad because it’s another human life, but it meant my kids didn’t have to sit through a court case giving evidence. It’s traumatic enough for an adult.”

The experience prompted her to seek help and eventually report the crimes, which she outlined in detail in a 23-page victim impact statement read by Judge Simon Newell.

Judge Newell told Jarvie, who had recently moved to Stirlingshire, Scotland, that he had treated the girl in a ‘hideous and appalling way’ through ‘serious, shameful and despicable offences’.

The offences took the form of Jarvie getting the girl to perform sex acts on him and he also simulated sex with her.

The victim said: “There was never a time I thought I wouldn’t be believed. After I took the first step, I was prepared to go to trial and give evidence, without a screen. I wasn’t going to hide anymore.

“For years I cried alone and I had learned to compartmentalise things, the real person hiding behind a wall.

“I cried when the judge read the charges because somebody in the justice system verbalising what I had been through gave it real recognition.

“This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and you have to have a support system, which I’ve never had until now.

“It’s hard to find the courage to do it, but people should understand that the shame is not yours, it’s the person’s that abused you.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Sarah Hargreaves praised the victim: “I wholeheartedly commend the victim for having the courage and bravery to speak out about her ordeal. “This case reinforces that it is never too late to report abuse however historical it may be. I am delighted with this significant sentence which demonstrates the serious nature of the crimes.”

On Jarvie, Det Con Hargreaves said: “Jarvie is a dangerous sex offender who poses a significant risk to children. His sexual behaviour was appalling and cruel beyond words, ultimately stripping a defenceless and vulnerable girl of her childhood.”

Jarvie was placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.