February 2021

Chilling threats of vile child rapist to keep girl, 9, silent forever

A brave victim who endured years of sickening sexual abuse said her childhood was “entirely destroyed” by paedophile Kevin Blackburn.

The girl even tried to take her own life unable to cope with what “dangerous” Blackburn had forced her to go through.

She was raped, abused and groomed by Blackburn, who told the terrified child that her parents would abandon her if she dared tell anyone.

Yesterday, the 71-year-old granddad was handed an 18-year extended prison sentence at Leeds Crown Court after the court was told he had caused severe psychological harm to the girl and he was assessed as a dangerous offender.

Blackburn, of Healds Avenue, Liversedge, was told he must serve two-thirds of a 13-year custodial period before he can be considered for release, followed by an extended licence period of five years. He was also made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

He had pleaded guilty to rape of a child under the age of 13, two counts of assault of a child by penetration, two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The court was told Blackburn had gained the girl’s trust before the abuse started.

Prosecutor Jeremy Hill-Baker said it started when Blackburn exposed himself to her. The girl ran away but Blackburn demanded she tell no one.

From there, the abuse got worse and his victim was so scared of “annoying him” she did as she was told – a tactic he used to later make her blame herself for the abuse.

He would tell his victim the sickening, frightening abuse was part of her ‘sex education’ and rewarded her with money, and then later cigarettes and alcohol.

The court was told the victim did not tell anyone about the abuse because she was humiliated, ashamed and scared.

Blackburn had also told her no one would believe her if she did and her parents would probably “get rid of her”.

The victim was a teenager when she finally confided in friends she had been abused by Blackburn and she wanted someone to know her secret in case she took her own life.

Her friends encouraged her to tell her dad, which she did, and he phoned the police.

In his police interview last year, the pensioner said he had “fooled about” with the child when he had too many drinks.

He admitted he must have been sexually attracted to her and he had started abusing her when she was nine years old, but claimed it only happened for a few months.

In a statement read to the court, the victim described herself as a ‘happy, normal’ child who thought the best of people before Blackburn’s abuse, adding: “My childhood was entirely destroyed by that man. He took away my innocence.”

She said Blackburn made her out to be the villain and she had sworn that she would take the secret to the grave.

The victim said she would fake illnesses so she did not have to go to school, which led to her being bullied.

As a teenager, she tried to take her own life again and was put on suicide watch with kitchen knives in her home being hidden while she slept in her mum’s bed.

The victim described feeling depressed and dealing with it without a diagnosis or professional help before being put on medication for depression, anxiety and insomnia and receiving help from the children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

She also described feeling insecure around men and said she dropped out of college due to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.