January 2010

Bus driver jailed for raping step-daughter

A 60-year-old bus driver has been jailed for eight years for raping his step-daughter 30 years ago in Borehamwood.

Steven Deamer began abusing his step-daughter when she was aged 11 and went on to rape her numerous times over the next five years, throughout the Eighties.

Deamer moved from Borehamwood to Christchurch, in Dorset, after splitting with the victim’s mother in the Nineties. He remarried and set up a new home in Dorset, working as a plumber before becoming a bus driver.

Lifting her right to anonymity in the hope others may come forward, Deamer’s victim Donna Harvey, now aged 40, is content justice has been done.

The mother of three boys, who still lives in Borehamwood, said: “I am really pleased I have got justice after all these years. The truth has finally come out.

“I am really happy with the sentence. Four years in prison and four years on a tag and putting him on the sex offenders’ register for life means his life will never be the same. I can start living my life now and move on.”

The court heard Donna had also been abused by her maternal grandfather, which she did not want her mother to discover.

Deamer silenced his victim from telling her mother about the abuse he was carrying out by threatening to tell her mother — his wife — about the grandfather’s abuse.

Deamer continued to rape Donna up until the age of 16, regularly on a Thursday or Friday when her mother was out of the house.

Deamer, who has no other convictions, did not take to the witness box during his trial at St Albans Crown Court. He was found guilty of three counts of rape and one of indecent assault.

Justin Rouse, defending, said in mitigation on Tuesday, Deamer had contact with numerous children over the years without any complaints.

Deamer was described by his bus company boss as conscientious and hard- working in a letter handed to the judge.

Mr Rouse said: “He has been driving youngsters around for years and there has never been any complaint.”

Judge Marie Catterson imposed an eight-year prison sentence, of which Deamer will serve half before release on licence.

She said: “You carried out serious sexual abuse of your step-daughter from 1980 to 1985 when she was aged 11 to 15.

“The first occasion she can recall was when you indecently assaulted her at the family home, and matters progressed to full sexual intercourse by the time she was 12.”

Donna left home as a young teenager and wanted to tell her mother at that time she was being abused, but Deamer stopped her.

Judge Catterson said: “What you did to her over those years was the gravest possible breach of trust. You abused her in the most serious fashion at the time when a young girl is most vulnerable. You knew at the time she was being abused by her maternal grandfather.

“Your abuse had a lasting effect on her. It has had a deep set and negative influence on her.”

Deamer must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and is banned from working with children.