A Northamptonshire woman who was sexually abused by her father during her childhood has spoken of her relief after he was finally jailed 30 years after he committed his crimes.
John Williams, aged 69, received a 12-year prison sentence at Northampton Crown Court last week after he admitted 20 charges of sexual activity with his daughter during an eight-year period between 1976 and 1984.
The court heard Williams began abusing his daughter when she was just five years old and his criminal behaviour only stopped when he left the family home in a village near Northampton in 1983.
His daughter, who is now in her 40s, has agreed to speak openly about her experience to try to encourage more victims of child abuse to come forward.
She was in court to see her father get jailed after fighting for more than 20 years to bring him to justice.
The court heard that she contacted Northamptonshire Police in 1993 after her father made a partial confession to her in a letter.
But, despite the fact she knew he was in the Shetland Islands, officers did not arrest him.
Williams’s daughter then went to the police again in 2003 and officers recorded a conversation with her father in which he again confessed to his crimes. However, due to the fact Williams was in the USA he could not be arrested.
In 2013, she found out her father was in Europe and she again contacted Northamptonshire Police and, after a long investigation, he was finally arrested in The Wirral in November 2014.
He pleaded guilty to all the charges against him at his first appearance at Northampton Crown Court last year.
His daughter said she felt like she finally had some sort of closure now that her father had been jailed.
She said: “I’m happy that chapter in my life is now closed, it was really important to me that he knew I was never going to let him get away with it.
“Paedophiles rely on their victim’s silence and if we remain silent then we allow them to keep on offending again and again.
“If people start talking openly about their abuse the stigma will be reduced and more victims will come forward making it harder for them to carry on with their depravity”
Northampton Crown Court heard Williams would abuse his daughter when her mother was out at work on a “weekly basis”.
The court heard Williams would try to justify his behaviour to his daughter by saying “it is what dads do”.
But, in a victim impact statement read to court, his daughter said her life had been greatly affected by her father’s twisted behaviour.
She said: “I had considerable feelings of self-hatred and I could not see any way out. My self-esteem and self-belief were shattered.”
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking said Williams carried out a campaign of “systematic abuse”.
She said: “As a father you should have been caring for and protecting your daughter. But you systematically abused your daughter and caused a deep psychological impact on the victim as a result of her damaged childhood.
“This was a campaign involving the most serious crimes of sexual abuse.”