“He stole my innocence”.
The chilling words from a woman as her father was jailed for years of abuse.
The father from Huddersfield subjected his daughter to a horrific catalogue of physical and sexual abuse including twice raping her and has been jailed for 16 years.
The 48-year-old was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court, after a jury found him guilty of child cruelty, assault, two offences of rape and two of indecent assault.
He is not being identified to protect the victim.
His victim was only five when her nightmare ordeal began at the hands of her dad.
Initially he began by hitting her with a length of hosepipe but by the time she was seven the physical abuse included partially strangling her, putting her in a bath of cold water and on one occasion making her stand in the garage when she was hardly clothed.
Timothy Capstick prosecuting said on another occasion her father had sprayed deodorant into the little girl’s eyes and he would beat her on her bottom and the soles of her feet with a belt so no one could see her injuries.
Sexual abuse began after he got into bed with her and indecently assaulted her. He raped her for the first time when she was about seven or eight and it happened again when she was a couple of years older.
She did not tell anyone at the time because she genuinely believed his threats that he would harm or kill her if she did.
Her parents had separated and she did not always live with him, eventually she spoke up when she was concerned for other children he was in contact with.
Mr Capstick said the girl was now an adult herself but described what her father had done to her as “changing my life for ever. He stole my innocence, inside I was dying.”
She said she still suffered flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety attacks about her childhood.
Katherine Robinson representing the father said at the time of the offences he was only a young man. “He has now lost everything.”
Jailing the father Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told him: “This was your child. She was entitled to look to you for care and affection. She was entitled to be able to trust you and to be comfortable in your company.”
“Unhappily the evidence in this case demonstrates the reality is you made her life then and since a complete misery.
“It was chilling to hear her evidence. It is apparent you have ruined her life. It was a gross abuse of trust for which you have shown not a shred of remorse.”