May 2015

Abused by my own father

A BRAVE woman who suffered years of sickening sexual abuse at the hands of her father has spoken out in a bid to help other victims.

Hayley has waived her right to anonymity and spoken of her determination to encourage victims to alert police and put a stop to such crimes.

She was in court to see her 66-year-old father sentenced to 16 years in jail for rape and indecent assaults against her.

Derek Norton’s lengthy jail term came after Hayley waited a long 25 years before plucking up the courage to report what happened to her.

And now she has turned her attention to others who may be in a similar situation.

“Something good has to come out of this so I want to tell my story, help other children and become a counsellor” she said.

“I waited a long time to report the abuse but now I feel like a better person and that I can finally become the person I want to be.”

Hayley was just seven-years-old when the abuse started.

Her dad told her she would be taken into care if she told anyone what was going on but told her it was “just something that happens with girls of your age and their fathers.”

“I didn’t realise it at the time but he was very controlling and stayed like it until I reported him to the police in 2013” said Hayley.

“When I was little I thought it was happening to all my friends and I couldn’t say anything because I thought I would be split up from the rest of my family. To me that was normal life.”

Hayley said the abuse stopped when she was 11-years-old and was never mentioned by her father.

“It had been going on for about four years, sometimes at home and sometimes at my nan’s house. No one else was ever around when he did it. He would even do it when I was ill.

“Suddenly it just stopped. I don’t really know why but perhaps he thought i would tell someone as i got older.”

To the outside world, the Nortons were a happy, law-abiding family who went to church every Sunday and were always together.

“We lived in Turlin Moor and went to St Gabriel’s church and then to the Poole Christian Fellowship” said Hayley. “No one had a clue what was going on behind closed doors.”

Norton, of Charlton Marshall, was found guilty of rape and seven indecent assaults against Hayley following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

He was jailed for 16 years and also ordered to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.