October 2016

‘Monster’ jailed for 20 years for subjecting young girl to decade of sex abuse

peters

A ‘monster’ who subjected a young girl to nearly a decade of rape and sexual abuse leaving her emotionally scarred for life was jailed for 20 years today.

The victim of John Peters, 79, was robbed of her childhood by his offences and has never been able to shake off her feelings of shame and disgust, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

“When I think about my childhood it makes me feel so sad, unhappy and angry,” she told the court.

“I wish I had never been born. I was a very sad and lonely little girl, very scared and desperate to escape. I had no control over my situation at all.

“I knew that this nasty man would do bad things to me. I cannot even call him by his name – he is just simply the nasty man to me.

“The sexual abuse will stay with me forever. It has scarred me for life and it makes me feel dirty and ashamed.”

She said she can never bring herself to trust people fully and she feels ‘broken and damaged.’

“I jump and get very anxious when I am approached from behind by anyone or I hear people coming. This is because of when the nasty man came up behind me and abused me.”

She said she has had mental health issues and regular nightmares. She suffers from depression and does not sleep well.

“I am extremely anxious all the time and I do get very angry. I have suffered from anorexia for large parts of my life.”

The woman thanked the jury for believing her.

Peters, of Penparcan Road, Aberystwyth, who abused the girl in the late 1960s and through to the 70s when he was living in Nailsworth, had denied six charges of rape and six of indecent assault but was convicted of all of them by a jury. The court heard the charges represented at least 21 incidents of rape and 21 of indecent assault.

He insisted to the jury that her allegations were all lies and said he had never touched her sexually.

The prosecution had told the jury the offences did not come to light until the woman went to the police in 2014.

Giles Nelson, for Peters, told the court today that he will suffer in prison because he has arthritis, mobility problems and suffers from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he had not seen any sign of contrition from Peters, even after conviction.

Passing jail terms totalling 20 years the judge told Peters that nobody in court would ever forget the emotional evidence given by his victim about the effect the offences have had on her.

“It was the clearest possible testimony of the damage that can be done by an adult to a child by sexual abuse,” the judge said.

“I have no doubt your selfish and unforgivable actions have had a devastating effect on her life. You chose to have a trial which meant she had to give evidence and be called a liar.”

The court heard he even gave her Chinese Burns if she disobeyed him.

The judge said: “What you did to her repeatedly when she was a little girl was simply wicked.”

The judge imposed 20 years for raping the girl when she was 10 and concurrent shorter sentences for each of the other 11 offences the jury had convicted him of. He added a one year extended licence period to the sentence, meaning Peters could be recalled to prison at any time in the next 21 years if he is released on parole.

Judge tabor told Peters he will have to serve at least 10 years of the sentence and it will be then up to the Parole Board to decide if and when he can be freed on licence.