A woman who was sexually abused by her step-dad in the 1970s has spoken out in the hope of helping others.
Donna Jacques hopes that by waiving her legal right to anonymity it will help other victims to have the courage to speak out and tell someone they trust.
On Friday 24th Jan, at Leicester Crown Court, Norman Saunders, 73, of Upper Hall Close, Hamilton, was sentenced to 10 years for offences he committed on Donna back in 1977, when she was just seven years old.
He had been found guilty by a jury in December 2014 of one count of buggery and one of indecent assault.
The sentencing brings to an end an investigation which has spanned three years.
Donna explains: â€œAfter 37 years I finally had the courage to break the silence and face my demons.
â€œI never asked to be there when I was seven-years-old and I didnâ€™t ask to be here today. That man Norman Alfred Saunders has had so much of my life. Heâ€™s not having one second more. I now have closure. I am moving on and looking forward to the future.
â€œThis is a despicable crime, one paedophile can wreck so many lives. A paedophile can be anyone, the cutie guy down the road, or on the internet.
â€œIf this has happened or is happening to you or someone you know, now is the time to speak out. Donâ€™t wait as long as I did.
â€œThe reason I have gone public is to help people. If this can help at least one person or gives them the courage to speak out, that would be amazing.
â€œDonâ€™t be afraid anymore, the paedophile is the one that is afraid, so tell someone you trust, anyone, everyone. The paedophile is the one doing wrong.â€
Detective Constable Dan Cumpsty, who has worked on the investigation said: â€œThis investigation was both complex and challenging.
â€œThe victim has been steely determined to get justice throughout this period and the guilty result is a testament to her inner belief that one day Saunders would be held accountable for what he did to her when she was a child and too young to understand what really happened to her.
â€œDonna has battled with her insecurities and fears through her parents splitting up, finding a father figure that she initially trusted only to have this belief destroyed in the worst possible way.
â€œHowever, Donna has used her own experiences to help others – recently talking to other young people who are suffering from, or have suffered abuse. This caused Donna to approach the police to help her find closure.
â€œI hope that todayâ€™s sentencing helps bring to an end this chapter in Donnaâ€™s life and she can begin to move forward knowing that Saunders has been punished for what he put her through as a young child.â€
If you think you have been, or are currently, a victim of sexual abuse please contact Leicestershire Police on 101 or contact Victim Support, which provides information and support for anyone affected by crime, on 0845 303 1947.