Four men bravely faced the sadistic, depraved paedophile who abused them in court.
The men were all groomed and abused by evil David Edens when they were children.
Edens, of Gillshill Road in Sutton, robbed all four of his victims of their childhoods. All of them have gone on to have issues as adults, with one even attempting to twice take his own life.
65-year-old Edens was jailed for 28 years after being found guilty by a jury at a trial at Hull Crown Court of nine counts of indecency with a child, nine of indecent assault of a child, one count of rape and one count of rape on no less than three occasions.
The court heard Edens abused four young boys, the youngest just six-years-old, over a period of ten years.
He refused to look them in the eye as they took to the witness stand one by one to give evidence during the trial.
During the sentence on Friday, October 16, all four victims’ impact statements were read out.
One of Edens’ victims, now an adult man, faced him again, taking to the witness stand to read out his victim impact statement.
The man said: “The extent of what he did to me can never be put down into words. What he put me through has impacted my life and that continues. Having done what he did, it was worse as he put us through a trial and made us out to be liars when he knew what he had done.”
He told how coming out of school, there was a lot he would have wanted to do, such as train to be teacher or an actor, but his lack of confidence because of the abuse Edens subjected him to meant he did not try.
The man said that when he was around the age of 23 he turned to gambling to try and block out thoughts of Edens.
He said: “I lost hundreds and thousands of pounds. It almost cost me my relationship. I also find it hard to trust anyone. I only trust immediate family to look after my child.”
“The nightmares I can deal with, but the flashbacks I go back to being that scared little boy all over again. I started drinking heavily and would stay out in the pub every night until closing time. I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts but I would just have a headache the next day.
“He has taken away my ability to trust and without that I have nothing. I knew walking in to court to see him would be the first time I have seen him in 20 years. Giving evidence was the worst thing I have ever had to go through. There will never be an end to this, no matter how much counselling and therapy I am given, it will never leave me. I feel I am broken and always will be because of what he has done.”
Edens’ second victim said he finds it hard to trust others
He said when he is looking after his own children, there are places he avoids such as parks and swimming pools.
The man said: “I suffer from bad dreams because of it. I don’t dream about what he did to me but about him in general. He will come into my head sometimes when I’m awake at night. Sometimes I will think I have moved on but then some silly little thing will remind me of him like a song or a certain car.”
A third man said he reported Edens’ to the police when another victim made contact with him and asked if anything had ever happened to him.
He said since then he has tried to take his own life twice.
The man said in his victim impact statement: “Until then I had blocked it out. I swore I was going to take it to my grave. I didn’t tell my ex-partner about it and as a result it built up. I didn’t want to be treated differently. My schooling was destroyed and I didn’t do well at all.
“I’m in a really good relationship now but still have days where my thoughts run away with me. I tried to take my own life, it was the only way out I could see. I wanted it to end. I woke up the next day and felt so angry. Within the same year I tried to do it again but again I woke up and it was at that point I realised it wasn’t the way. It all stemmed from what he did to me as a child.
“I didn’t grow up like a normal child, I had no childhood that was robbed from me. I had no one to talk to.”
The man said he is triggered by the abuse Edens put him through – one was when his ex-partner allowed his son to go to a certain public toilet alone.
He said: “It was where he used to take me. I told her she was never to do that again but she didn’t know why and still doesn’t. In my previous job I would have to use public toilets when out on the motorway and it took me back to what he did to me.
“This monster can’t do this to any other child.”
Edens’ fourth victim, who he abused when he was just 11 years old, told how he has been in and out of prison since.
The man said in his victim personal statement he had a turbulent home life, which Edens preyed upon in order to groom him.
He said: “When I was a child I spent a lot of time on the street which is where I came into contact with him. I spent my life in a downward spiral. I went to prison when I was 15 and that was the best thing that ever happened to me.
“It was the safest place for me.
“I always had a feeling this would come back but I didn’t want it to. I would have never have reported it off my own back but when the police spoke to me I knew I had to tell them. I started using drugs to try and push it to the back of my mind but that didn’t work. I need this to be out of the way so I can get on with my life.”
When jailing Edens, who will have to spent two thirds of his 28-year sentence behind bars, Judge John Thackray commended his victims for reporting him.
The judge said: “The court can do nothing to give these four men their childhood back but the court wishes them well in their recovery.
“Finally, I would like to comment the bravery of all four men in coming forward and giving evidence and I would like to thank the police. It was clear to me that this was an impressive, thorough investigation and I commend all those involved.”