May 2019

Sex abuse victim confronts vile attacker who ‘stole her innocence, heart and soul’

The victim of a man found guilty of abusing her as a child stared at him as she described how his actions had affected her life.

Stephen Langton had denied charges of indecency with a child and indecent assault on the woman when she was a girl in the 1970s.

The 68-year-old, of Ffordd Gwynedd, Northop, stood trial at Caernarfon Crown Court and, after a four-day trial, the jury took less than two hours to convict him of two indecency charges and six of indecent assault.

The woman said her life had been “damaged by the vile assaults” Langton had carried out, and said he had restricted her growth and intellect.

“This man stole my innocence, my heart and my soul,” she said.

The woman said she was grateful for the opportunity to speak out, adding: “It is important to see him publicly held to account for his offending.

“He has never shown remorse or shame for what he did to me. I can’t say I will ever be free.”

She looked straight into the dock at Langton as she walked back to the public gallery.

Langton was jailed for seven and a half years and will be on extended licence for a further 12 months. He must sign the sex offenders register for life.

Judge David Hale told the court he had to sentence Langton on the guidelines in force at the time of the offences.

He said that, had the current guidelines been open to him, the jail term would have been longer.

Addressing Langton, the judge said: “I hope you heard what she said. She said it to me but wanted you to hear the damage you have caused her the past 40 years.

“I hope you heard and I hope, during the next few years, you think why you are where you are.

“I hope you have lived in fear this day would come.”

The trial heard that, in 1971, Langton had been handed an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years by magistrates at Birkenhead for indecently assaulting a schoolgirl on a bus while he worked as a conductor.

The jury heard the abuse in the present case occurred in a car and a caravan.

The woman had told some members of her family and friends about what had happened to her, but no complaint had been made to police until recently.

Police had arrested and interviewed Langton, who denied the allegations and said they were simply not true.