Victim had childhood stolen as a result of repeated sexual abuse, court hears

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 September 2020

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A woman who was subjected to serious sexual abuse as a child has described its impact as a life sentence.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was about four when the abuse she suffered at the hands of Michael Ellis started.

Norwich Crown Court heard she was sexually assaulted by Ellis, now 79, who “repeatedly and selfishly” satisfied his own desires by abusing the young victim.

The abuse, which dates back almost 40 years, happened in the Norwich area during the 1980s.

Ellis, of Thetford Road, Watton, appeared at court on Tuesday (September 22) having pleaded guilty to a total of four counts of indecent assault.

The victim appeared in court to read out a powerful victim impact statement in which she said though Ellis will receive a prison sentence for the offences he committed, she is already “serving a life sentence”.

She said: “By doing what he did he’s stolen my childhood and my adolescence and affected my whole life.”

She said she had been an A-grade pupil before the abuse but had to stop attending school.

The victim said she “never had any confidence as a child and still don’t as a woman”.

She said she “essentially feels worthless” and does not know how anyone could love her.

Judge Katharine Moore handed Ellis an extended sentence of five years and six months, made up of four years and six months in custody and a further year on licence.

Judge Moore said Ellis “repeatedly and selfishly” sought sexual gratification by abusing the victim, who had suffered turmoil, anxiety and depression as a result of the abuse she suffered.

Ellis was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for 10 years and put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating for Ellis, said the defendant was adamant he did not want this matter to go to trial.

He said that although Ellis does not accept he has done some of the acts, he has pleaded guilty to the offences.

Mr Oliver said Ellis, who suffered from arthritis as well as anxiety and depression, was “sorry for the pain that he’s caused”.

He also said the defendant had not committed any offences either before or after the offences for which he appeared in court to be sentenced for.

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