June 2018

‘Appalling’ abuser from Exmouth is jailed

An abuser from Withycombe Raleigh who ruined a young girl’s childhood and left her feeling frightened and alone has been jailed for 17 years.

David Thompson, aged 56, of Colleton Close, Exmouth, admitted two attempted rapes, six sex assaults and 14 counts of indecent assault or indecency.

He was jailed for 17 years with a one year extended licence and ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for life by Recorder Mr Martin Meeke, QC, at Exeter Crown Court.

He was also made subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with children after his release.

Thompson was 35 when he began abusing the girl in Evesham, Worcs.

She was aged between 10 and 18 when she was subjected to hundreds of sexual assaults and attempted rapes.

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the victim made a statement in which she said: “I would always keep my eyes closed so I could not see what he was doing.”

The abuse was only revealed in January this year when Thompson tried to contact the victim – and she told her mother in law.

The court heard how Thompson tried to kill himself when the victim finally plucked up the courage to go to the police more than a decade after the abuse.

He cut his own throat in one suicide attempt and now has to eat and drink through a tube.

In sentencing Thompson the judge said: “Your victim never cooperated in any way. You never showed any regard for her at all. She was an object used by you for sexual gratification. Your activity indicated an attitude bordering on contempt.

“This is the right sentence for this quite appalling catalogue of abuse whose victim statement shows that even now she feels vulnerable, intimidated, frightened and alone.

“She describes you as having taken away her childhood and tormented her in all the years since by living your life as if nothing has happened.”

Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the offences dated back to the 1990s.

The victim stayed silent about what had happened until January this year. Police tried to interview Thompson shortly afterwards but he attempted to take his own life on at least one occasion.

Recorder Martin Meeke QC said Thompson had admitted 50 offences in all but said the true figure must be hundreds over the nine-year period.

Recorder Meeke told Thompson: “She was an object used by you for your own sexual gratification.

“She describes you as having taken away her childhood and tormented her in all the years since by living your life as if nothing has happened.”

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