June 2017

‘My innocent childhood has been ruined’: Victim of paedophile jailed for 17 years

The victim of a sex offender said she tried to kill herself on more than one occasion after what happened in her childhood.

She told a court she was not been able to give her “full self” in relationships and had struggled to bond with her own children.

Her victim impact statement was read out before Andrew Pugh, of Neath, was jailed for 17 years for 20 offences of indecent assault, attempted buggery and rape.

They were committed against children under the age of 13 between 1981 and 1985.

Pugh, who was found guilty by a jury at Swansea Crown Court, was in his late teens at the time.

The woman’s victim impact statement said: “I can say that every part of my life has been affected, and the ripple effect is unbelievable.

“I began to drink, quite heavily too, as this would help me blot out my thoughts.”

She said she got into trouble, took heroin to try to forget the abuse and tried to kill herself on a couple of occasions.

“I had relationships — bad ones — I could not give my full self to anyone, and I still struggle to this day,” she said.

Regarding her own two children, she said “the bond was not there” and that she had struggled to show affection to them as they got older.

“I don’t feel I have had happy times in my life,” she added. “My innocent childhood has been ruined.”

‘I feel tremendous guilt’

One of the victims said he became anxious when he returned to Neath, where the offences occurred, and that he felt Pugh, despite being small and slight, “has control over my anxieties”.

His statement added: “I suffer badly from anxiety to this day. I avoid social gatherings. My anxiety has held me back in my career.

“I feel tremendous guilt that I have not spoken out before.

“My anxiety has affected the relationship I have with my ex-wife and children.

“At some point in every day I’m affected by the abuse I suffered from Andrew Pugh.”

Judge Keith Thomas told Pugh, now aged 51, of Heol-Y-Nant, that aggravating features of his case included the repeated nature of his offending and its “gradually increasing severity”.

He said: “There can be no doubt the offences have had a significant psychological effect on each of the complainants.”

 

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