April 2017

Woman bravely tells how ‘wicked’ taxi driver step-dad sexually abused her for 10 years

A woman who was subjected to a decade of “vile” sexual abuse at the hands of her step-father has revealed how it almost drove her to suicide.

“Wicked” former taxi driver Stephen Campy began abusing his step-daughter when she was five.

Campy, who is now 73 and almost blind, has been warned he may die in prison after admitting 18 sex offences against his step-daughter, including attempted rape.

He was jailed for 12 years.

His victim, Dena, has waived her right to anonymity in a bid to help others who have suffered familial abuse.

She bravely read a statement to Hull Crown Court detailing what she had suffered at the hands of the man she used call “dad”.

As her abuser sat impassively in the dock, she said: “I grew up thinking that what I now know as sexual abuse was punishment for something I had done wrong.”

She said she often woke “to the smell of Steve’s tobacco breath” while being abused, and he would say: “Sorry, I thought it was your mum.”

She said: “This and the other memories I have of the abuse has stayed with me for all my life, and are memories I cannot remove.

“I found it really difficult at school to make friends as I didn’t feel the same as other children.”

Dena said she agonised about reporting the abuse as she “would have felt responsible for the break-up of the family”.

She said: “Over the years I have lived in a fog, have suffered with my mental health as a result of the abuse, and last year I suffered what I would call a total breakdown as I couldn’t cope with everyday life.

“I had trouble sleeping, was suicidal, felt my life was not going to improve so everyone would be better off without me.

“I finally had the courage to disclose the abuse to police last year and felt like the fog has been lifted.”

Dena said seeing the case through to its conclusion means she can now put the horrors of her childhood behind her.

“This is the first day of the rest of my life,” she said.

“I couldn’t have done it without my family; my husband and my kids, giving me the strength to keep going, and giving me a reason to live.”

She added: “I also have to thank the support and help of the Blue Door charity.

“I would urge anyone who has had a similar experience to reach out and seek support.”

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, Recorder of Hull and East Riding, called Campy’s offending “truly wicked”, and told him: “Dena has read her personal statement to the court. She has displayed remarkable courage and dignity throughout.

“Your crimes were unspeakably vile, whereas she has spoke out with courage and composure and very considerable dignity.

“The contrast could not be more marked.

“All she wanted was unconditional love. All you gave her was malevolent sexual abuse.”

Campy, of Greenfield Garth, west Hull, admitted attempted rape of a female under 16; gross indecency with a girl under 14, and 16 indecent assaults on a girl under 14.

He must sign the sex offenders register for life.

The judge said: “The sentence is severe and the message is clear – those who commit crimes of such gravity must expect severe sentences.

“Take him down.”

As he was led away to the cells, women in the public gallery said, “See you soon dad,” and “Love you.”