June 2013

Teenage sex abuse victim speaks out

mp

A TEENAGE victim of sexual abuse has spoken out after her attacker was jailed for six years.

The Plymouth schoolgirl has talked about her experience and encouraged other women and girls who might have suffered similar abuse to come forward.

Martyn Pearce, aged 37, from Eggbuckland was convicted of three counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He pleaded not guilty to these charges but was found guilty on February 21 this year at Winchester Crown Court.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice.

The girl said: “To those who have had something similar happen to them, I would say go ahead and do it. Be brave.

“It will hurt and you will feel like it’s not worth it, but at the end of the day it is – I would encourage other women and girls to come forward.

“But it was really stressful – I was very nervous. I still won’t be able to trust people – I did trust him.

“He threatened me not to say anything.

“I don’t go out anywhere either and have been put on anti-depressants.”

The girl’s mother spoke of having to support her daughter through the trial.

She said: “It took about a year and a half from it happening to it going to court. The trial was postponed a number of times.

“She gave evidence by video link so she didn’t have to see him – but we did bump into him one day outside court, which was awful.

“But while the trial was on he was kept in the cells, thankfully.

“The trial started on Monday February 18 and he was sentenced on the Thursday.

“We had already been warned it could go either way and he might not get a custodial sentence.

“Part of it was that he lied – he got an extra 12 months for perverting the course of justice.

“We were just hoping for a guilty verdict so he would be on the Sex Offenders Register and people would know she was telling the truth.

“It has made school difficult but she is trying hard.

“Family and friends have been a great support and I want to thank the police for everything they have done.

“One of the hardest things is how she doesn’t trust people and he has changed her.

“She even has a feeling of guilt because he can’t see his children while he is in prison.

“I feel people need to know what he has done – there are still people who don’t believe it.”