A victim of historic sex offences fears she may never recover from her trauma, but hopes her confidence to come forward will inspire others who have suffered a similar ordeal, after seeing her attacker jailed for more than 20 years.
David Dennis Brierley, 63, of Sea View, Amble, was found guilty by a jury of 22 historical sex offences after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in June.
The court was told that he abused his victim during the 1970s and 1980s from when she was just a child.
His victim did not report the abuse at the time, but then in April last year she told police what he had done and Brierley was arrested.
He denied all the charges against him but he was convicted of 22 of the 23 offences he faced.
He was jailed for 23 years, plus one on licence, last month.
Now the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has said that she hopes that the case gives other victims the confidence to come forward.
She said: “I would like to thank my family and friends for the support they have shown me throughout what has been a difficult time for me.
“While I might never recover from the trauma this has caused me, I hope it will encourage other victims in a similar situation to come forward.”
Detective Constable Dawn Bowman, of the Northumbria Police Child Abuse Investigation Team, praised the victim in the case for the ‘extreme bravery’ she has shown.
She said: “This is a truly awful case that stretches back more than 40 years.
“Brierley thought he had got away with his crimes but after his victim bravely came forward, I am pleased he is now behind bars.
“He has denied all responsibility throughout the trial and failed to show any remorse for what he has done.
“His crimes were horrific and I want to commend the victim for the extreme bravery she has shown throughout the entire ordeal.
“This case should give all victims the confidence that if they report an incident they will be taken seriously, treated with the utmost compassion and be fully supported.
“Our officers will also use all the techniques available to us to put those responsible before the court.
“No matter how long ago the offence took place, we will do everything we possibly can to bring people like Brierley to justice.
“Under the banner of Sanctuary we are also working proactively to protect those who are vulnerable in our communities and stop offences from happening.”
Brierley was found guilty of nine counts of indecent assault, seven counts of gross indecency with a child, and six counts of rape of a female under 16.
He was found not guilty of one count of gross indecency with a child.
Brierley was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.