January 2021

Serial paedophile who drugged and raped children locked up for 26 years

A “predatory” paedophile repeatedly drugged and raped a vulnerable girl as part of a catalogue of abuse against her, a court has heard.

Eugene Sullivan, 65, also threatened to kill his victim, who was only nine years old when the abuse started, as well as indecently assaulting four other girls aged 16 and younger.

On Monday Cardiff Crown Court heard how Sullivan carried out an “entrenched” pattern of sexually abusing the girls on occasions spanning a almost a decade.

This included adding drugs to one girl’s drink before assaulting her, abusing her while she wore her school uniform, repeatedly raping her, and explaining his behaviour as a “life lesson”. He also threatened her, on one occasion telling her: “Move and I will f*****g kill you”.

In one instance it was heard Sullivan had taken advantage of one of the girls when she was intoxicated while on another occasion it was heard he gave one of his victims amphetamines before sexually assaulting her.

A fourth victim was also given adult underwear in an attempt to groom her.

The defendant denied the allegations when investigated by police but was found guilty of four counts of rape and 13 counts of indecent assault by a jury following a trial. He was found not guilty of one count of attempted rape.

During the sentencing hearing one victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, read out a powerful victim personal statement to the court explaining how she has “isolated” herself from the world since the abuse and suffered severe nightmares.

She added: “My emotional state was never the same. I have dealt with mental health issues ever since. I have hated myself every day since that happened. I turned to drugs to forget which later turned to an eating disorder, both of which I had to get professional help for.

“You were the worst thing to ever happen to me but I will not let you control me any more.”

In a series of further victim statements read out in court by Matthew Roberts, prosecuting, it was heard that at least one girl was not believed by their family when coming forward about the abuse. Others spoke of the trauma of having to relive the abuse by giving evidence during the trial, causing one victim to lose two and a half stone in weight.

One said: “I have no confidence or self-esteem. I would say I feel damaged, like I am broken. I can honestly say there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what happened to me.”

Sullivan, of Ramsey Road, Barry, refused to attend the sentencing. It was also heard the defendant had described having a stroke after his trial although it was noted there was no medical evidence of the incident in a pre-sentence report.

Judge Richard Williams described Sullivan as a “predatory paedophile” who took advantage of young girls to cause serious harm.

He also stressed that the 17 counts for which Sullivan was sentenced did not reflect the number of offences caused, adding that one victim was raped on at least 10 further occasions.

In total Sullivan was given an extended custodial sentence of 26 years. At least two-thirds of his sentence will be served in custody before he can be considered for release on licence.