August 2019

‘It will not define me’: Victim’s vow as abuser is jailed

A brave child abuse survivor has told a court that she will not be defined by the trauma she suffered.

At Bolton Crown Court Peter Duffy was jailed for 12 years after admitting sex offences against the girl over several years, starting when she was aged just nine.

In a victim statement, read out by Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, the girl said she had kept the abuse secret.

“After a long time of holding all the pain in I could not keep it any more,” she said.

“I had self harmed in the past as a way of coping and I started smoking at a very early age as a way to distract from what had happened.

“After so many years of keeping the truth in I couldn’t cope with the torment any more.

“I will never heal from what has happened to me — the mental scars will always be there.

“I know that I will never trust anyone again.

“I don’t want this abuse to define me but it will always be part of me. I want to move on from this and be able to heal so that I can enjoy life again.”

Mr Mackintosh told the court how Duffy, aged 45, of Thornbank West, Bolton, began the abuse by turning a game into sexually touching her and simulating sex with her.

Duffy also took photographs of her cleavage and backside, made her masturbate him and committed a sex act on her on at least two occasions.

On the day his trial was due to start last month he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child, sexual assault, assault by penetration, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing indecent photographs.

Mr Mackintosh said the offence came to light when the victim went to a party and drank so much that an ambulance had to be called to take her to hospital.

“She was placed on a stretcher and taken to an ambulance and whilst there she began making comments to the paramedics,” said Mr Mackintosh.

He added that the victim told them a man had touched her.

The paramedics reported the conversation to their superiors and police were contacted.

When questioned by police Duffy, who has no previous convictions, denied committing the offences.

Sentencing Duffy, Judge Graeme Smith praised his victim.

“She shows enormous strength of character saying she doesn’t want the abuse to define her,” he said.

The judge placed Duffy on the sex offenders’ register and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period.