May 2017

Pervert who ‘destroyed’ woman’s life jailed

A WOMAN has told of how her life has been destroyed after a pervert sexually abused her as a young child.

Norman Astbury, 59, has been jailed for five years after being convicted of sexual activity in the presence of a child, when the girl was aged eight and nine years old.

The woman, who can not be named for legal reasons, said she was haunted by nightmares and developed an eating disorder as a result of her childhood trauma.

She said: “It is like a never ending nightmare for me.”

His previous offences include flashing at a shop assistant, exposing himself to passengers on a bus and committing a sex act in front of two eight-year-old girls in a supermarket.

Between 2006 and 2008, Astbury regularly committed sex acts on himself in front of the woman, who would be at his home in Padiham.

But when her family learned he was suspected of committing a sex act in the changing rooms of a local swimming pool, contact between Astbury and the little girl stopped.

In a victim impact statement, the woman told the court: “The impact of the sexual abuse I suffered by Norman has had a devastating effect on all aspects of my life.

“I suffer on a daily basis and I have done since he started to abuse me.”

She said she started self harming at the age of nine and felt disgusted and ashamed by what had happened.

“The look he gave me still haunts me”, she said.

She said she no longer trusts men and her relationship with her mum and stepdad deteriorated as a result of her abuse.

Her mother, who also can not be named, said she had noticed a change in her daughter and had tried to support her through her mental health problems, but only learned the cause several years later.

Judge Jacqueline Beech, sentencing, said: “You would tell her she must not tell anyone or something would happen. It was a secret, you told her.

“Your victim empathy is practically non-existent.”