February 2019

Girl ‘robbed of her childhood’ after abuser repeatedly sexually assaulted her

A sexual abuser whose years of offending “robbed [his victim] of her childhood” threatened to kill her when the offences came to light.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left feeling suicidal and started to misuse alcohol and drugs as she tried to cope with what Dafydd Clack had done to her.

Jailing Clack at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Timothy Petts said he had been responsible for a “horrific pattern of abuse” which occurred over a prolonged period.

Heath Edwards, prosecuting, referred to the victim’s personal statement and said: “The abuse she suffered at the hands of [the defendant] robbed her of her childhood.”

The court heard her friends and teachers thought she was shy and quiet but that was not naturally her personality. “She was trapped in a constant state of fear and self-disgust,” said Mr Edwards.

The woman explained she struggled to cope with everyday life as a result of the offending and had very low self-esteem.

She later started to drink heavily and smoke cannabis – looking for an escape – and began to have thoughts about killing herself. Mr Edwards told the court she was in “a pattern of self-destruction” but has since managed to turn her life around.

The victim said Clack’s offending had a big impact on her ability to form relationships with other people.

Mr Edwards added: “She has suffered from night terrors for as long as she can remember. She has vivid images of the abuse she suffered.”

The woman said she hoped seeing Clack sentenced will help her to find the strength to confront the difficulties she has experienced as a result of his offending.

Judge Petts noted Clack had 66 previous offences on his criminal record although these convictions were the first for sexual offending.

Clack must now register as a sex offender:

Clack, 31, of Abercerdin Road in Gilfach Goch, was found guilty of nine counts of sexual intercourse with a girl and two counts of indecent assault.

The jury also convicted him of one count of raping a child and one count of making a threat to kill, which happened when the offences came to light.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Petts said: “What you did to her over the years has had a lasting impact upon her. It is clear that her memories are still very painful.”

Clack was jailed for 10 years and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. An indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made.

The judge added: “No sentence that I pass can make good the damage you did. I express my best wishes to [the victim] for the future.”