July 2013

‘I’ll never forgive mum for letting dad abuse me’

A woman who was raped by her father has told how she may one day forgive him – but can never make amends with her mother for turning a blind eye.

Paula, 48, was abused as a child by Joseph Joyce at the family’s home in Whitkirk, Leeds, and later Halton Moor.

Joyce, of Harefield West, Halton Moor, was jailed for 12 years in July 2011 – aged 67 – after he was found guilty of two offences of rape and five other indecency charges against Paula. He was also found guilty of five further indecency charges relating to two other female victims.

Paula’s mother 69-year-old Pauline Bennett, of Greystone Mount, Halton Moor, Leeds, received a four year sentence for child neglect and indecent assault of a 15-year-old male, she divorced when Paula was a teenager.

Bennett, 70, is now due to be released on licence two years into a four-year sentence. But Paula, who has waived her right to anonymity, says there will be no reconciliation.

She said: “I might one day be able to forgive my dad – he has admitted what he did and tried to make amends. But my mother is never going to change.

“I believe there was something in him that loved me, whereas with her I just believe she was cold, calculating and would do anything in her power to hurt me. She said I was a liar and called me sick and twisted.”

Paula, a mother of eight, said her family had been torn apart by the lies her mother told. She added it was “disgusting” Bennett – who will be on the sex offender register for at least 15 years – could return home to live a “normal” life.

“You would see her and think ‘that poor old lady’,” she said. “You wouldn’t realise what she’s capable of.”

Mark Siddall, of West Yorkshire Probation, said licence conditions were continually reviewed and offenders who broke the rules faced an immediate return to jail. He added: “[We] will continue to ensure the victim is fully aware of any changes to the offender’s circumstances and is empowered to have their voice heard.”