May 2015

Victim of jailed paedophile feared she would not be believed


THE VICTIM of childhood sexual abuse has described her fear of not being believed after the man who sexually assaulted her in the late 1970s and early 1980s was jailed for ten years.

Anthony Seabrook, 74, who previously lived in Bodmin, now of Chatsworth Way, St Austell, groomed the girl before touching her sexually on a number of occasions, Truro Crown Court heard last Wednesday.

Joss Ticehurst, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Seabrook, known as Tony, also made the girl touch him sexually.

He said when she reported the incidents to the police in 2013, the woman described feeling unable to tell anyone what was happening at the time. but hoping that she could call Childline.

Mr Ticehurst said Seabrook was interviewed by police after the woman came forward with the allegations.

In interview he admitted some aspects but denied others.

Speaking exclusively to the Cornish Guardian, the woman said she felt relieved that she had been believed.

She said: “This has been a tough journey but today, finally, I feel justice prevailed.

“Judge Harvey Clarke’s compassionate comments to me in court during his summary were truly remarkable and mean so much to me.

“I felt he understood the impact that the abuse I suffered has had on my life and my relationships.”

She said her fear of not being believed was the reason she kept silent about the abuse she had suffered.

The woman said she wanted to thank those who had supported her including the police, her psychotherapist and friends and family.

She added: “I would urge anyone affected by sexual abuse, no matter how long ago, to seek professional help like I did; I no longer carry the shame, guilt and anger.

“I now know I am not responsible and I did nothing wrong. I can now move on with my life.”

Seabrook admitted to two counts of gross indecency with a child and three of indecent assault.

He entered guilty pleas to three of the charges on the morning his trial was due to start last Tuesday, having pleaded guilty to two of the charges last August.

Ramsay Quaife, for the defence, said his client was genuinely remorseful for what had happened.

He said: “He is very sorry for not only what he did but what he said when he was first accused.”

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said the woman had been courageous in coming forward.

He said Seabrook had taken away the girl’s innocence and that his offences had caused a dark shadow over the woman’s life, which had affected her relationships with others.

Judge Harvey Clark added: “She was not in any way to blame for anything that happened … you only admitted significant allegations and the extent of your abuse on the morning of your trial.

“Until then your case was that these allegations were false, malicious and untrue, save to the extent that you admitted two allegations on a very limited basis in August 2014.”

Seabrook was jailed for a total of ten years for what the judge described as an “appalling crime”.

After the hearing, officer in the case, Detective Constable Chris Donald said it had been one of the most emotive cases of historical abuse he had worked on.

“We are pleased at the sentence,” he said. “I would urge any victims of abuse to come forward and speak to the police.