Woman thought about taking her life after abuse decades ago

Robert Reynolds, 80, who has been jailed after being convicted of historic sex abuse.

Robert Reynolds, 80, who has been jailed after being convicted of historic sex abuse. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A woman was left suicidal after being raped and sexually abused by a man decades ago, a court has heard.

The victim was in her 50s when she "plucked up the courage" to report the sexual abuse she had been subjected to by Robert Reynolds when she was a child.

Norwich Crown Court heard the offences were committed over almost a decade, between July 1972 and March 1982.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said the sexual offending started when the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was just eight.

Reynolds, 80, of Shortthorn Road, Stratton Strawless, appeared in court for sentence on Monday (September 13) having previously been found guilty following a trial earlier this month of four counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault and another of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.

Before Reynolds was sentenced an impact statement was read out on behalf of the victim who said she had "never been able to tell my story of sexual abuse as a child" but had "thought of suicide" at her lowest point.

She said she had thought sex "was about control" and that she has "never made anything of my life".

Most Read

The victim said: "It will never be over for me. It will with me until I die".

She said following Reynolds' conviction earlier this month she wanted to "ask that a custodial sentence is given" adding that he has "had his freedom".

Sentencing Reynolds to a total of 14 years, made up of 13 years in prison and an extra year on licence, Judge Alice Robinson said the offences, committed over "a number of years" have had a "serious impact" on the victim.

Ian James, mitigating, said mitigation was rather limited and accepted the seriousness of the offending he had been convicted of and the fact a custodial sentence was "inevitable".

Mr James said the fact he had "stayed out of trouble for the majority of his 80 years should be taken into consideration" as well as his age when sentencing.

He said there was no suggestion that other than the victim in this case that "this sort of behaviour has been repeated with anyone else".

He added: "Its something that has lain dormant literally for decades now."

Reynolds was put on the sex offenders' register for life.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter