November 2016

Victim of Clapton Common child abuser speaks out as her attacker avoids jail

A child sex abuse survivor whose attacker has dodged jail is urging parents to look out for signs their own kids could be at risk.

Joseph Augustin, 88, of Clapton Common, indecently assaulted his victim more than two decades ago as a young child.

The victim, who cannot legally be identified, was diagnosed with a mental illness following the abuse, and found the courage to tell police about her ordeal three years ago.

Augustin denied the allegations but was found guilty by a majority verdict of two counts of indecent assault following a trial at Wood Green Crown Court on September 22. Last week he was given a two-year suspended sentence.

He was also added to the sex offenders’ register but police refused to provide the Gazette with a photograph of him.

“Things like this shouldn’t be silenced,” the victim told the Gazette.

“I’ve got nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. My point is he’s committed a disgusting crime.

“I had a diagnosis because of this and I had it removed. I didn’t get listened to because people thought I was mentally ill. I lost my childhood and the beginning of my adulthood because I couldn’t get over it – it took me years. But the police said I’ve come a long way.”

She added: “A lot of parents are unaware of stuff. They leave their children so exposed, but maybe they will learn to protect their children and learn the signs of abuse, because not a lot of children know the signs.

“Everyone has a responsibility to speak out about what’s going on. It makes it more worthwhile what I’ve gone through. Like I’ve helped someone.”

Long term effects of abuse can include emotional difficulties like anger, anxiety, sadness and low self-esteem, mental health problems and addiction to drugs and alcohol.