September 2019

Paedophile sentenced to 16 years

A brave survivor of sexual abuse faced the paedophile who stole her childhood, watching as he was jailed for 16 years.

Fighting back tears, the victim of Philip Oliver’s abuse looked the child molester in the eye at Worcester Crown Court, telling him his actions had ‘destroyed’ her life.

The 70-year-old showed no emotion as she read out her harrowing victim impact statement about abuse suffered at his hands in Dines Green, Worcester during the 1970s.

Six members of the jury who convicted the pensioner returned to see him sentenced.

She said: “My childhood has been stolen. My life has been destroyed. Everything I’ve done has been ruined and tainted by fear, shame, lack of trust, mental and physical pain, guilt, low self-esteem and disgust. I have carried this burden for so long it has now become a normal part of life. It’s just an existence, not living.”

Oliver, a stooped and diminutive former milkman of Wilson Road, Shurdington, near Cheltenham had been convicted by a jury the previous day of having sexual intercourse with a child under 13, four indecent assaults and four counts of gross indecency with a child.

The abuse happened between 1974 and 1980. Oliver planned the offences, using condoms and a spermicidal contraceptive foam, getting the girl to perform sex acts on him and performing sex acts upon her.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said: “You groomed her from a young age and over years. The fact she had no emotional maturity or sexual understanding was obvious to you.

“It hurt her physically. The emotional damage revealed itself later and it was in my view severe. She has shown considerable courage in telling her desperately sad story, in particular by acknowledging that she enjoyed what was happening at the time.

This is a reality in cases of this kind which many complainants simply cannot face.”

The victim reported matters to the police in 1993 but no further action was taken against Oliver and he was never charged. However, when she reported the abuse to police again in 2016 Oliver was arrested and charged.

The victim first confronted Oliver over the abuse in the 1980s, telling the jury that he laughed and said: “Is that all you’ve got to say?”

Judge Cartwright told Oliver he had ‘mocked her to some extent and simply jettisoned her’, treating the aftermath as ‘collateral damage’ of the abuse.

He said: “You could have admitted what you had done in 1993 but you did not. If you had you would have been sentenced under a very different regime and you would have completed your sentence many years ago.

“You denied any wrongdoing and have enjoyed a happy family life in the decades since then.” He said that was something he had denied to his victim.

The judge was constrained by the maximum sentences available at the time of the offences.

The most serious offence was sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 which carried a maximum of life.

However, this was aggravated significantly by grooming, the severe psychological harm inflicted, the victim’s extreme youth and personal circumstances and the additional degradation involved.

Oliver will serve half the sentence in prison before the case is referred to the Parole Board to consider whether and under what terms it is safe for him to be released.