Attacker ‘robbed me of being happy’, says victim of rape and sexual assault
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 May 2018
She was just eight when she was raped and sexually assaulted multiple times more than 20 years ago - and today she has described how her “evil” abuser has “robbed” her of ever being happy.
Mark Browning, 39, is today starting an extended 15-year sentence of eight years in custody and a further seven on licence after being convicted of two rapes and 15 counts of indecent assault.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now in her 30s but was just six-years-old when the offending started in 1991.
It continued until 1996, when she was 11 and included being raped when she was eight and Browning, of Appleyard Crescent, Mile Cross, was 14.
The devastation caused by Browning’s offences were laid bare in a victim impact statement provided to Norwich Crown Court before he was sentenced on Friday (May 25).
“Mark has stolen my childhood innocence and I feel like I didn’t have a childhood as I was always having to pretend everything was alright,” it said.
“I feel that Mark has robbed me of being happy, what he has done to me is always there and will never go away.”
The statement describes how the victim changed the way she dressed and became aggressive towards boys following her ordeal which also triggered issues with alcohol.
“I was aggressive towards the boys and would punch them and try and dominate them,” it read.
“I wanted to make sure I was in charge. I blame Mark for this.
“I was about seven years old when I started stealing my dad’s alcohol from the top of the fridge freezer, because it made me feel numb.
“I would drink all the time as it stopped me from thinking about Mark and would make me feel numb.
“I worked hard at school but I would be drunk when I was doing my homework and I would turn up to my exams drunk.
“I was in a cross country team at school and would attend these events drunk.”
The victim went on: “My issues have been with alcohol and I have needed to drink to block out the abuse that I suffered at the hands of Mark.
“I found it easier to drink than to talk about what happened.
“I have always suffered with night terrors, these started when I was a child and I still have them to this day as an adult.”
The victim said the devastating effects of the abuse she suffered have been long-lasting.
“It has affected every single romantic relationship I have ever had.
“I’m still quite aggressive towards men and if I’m on a night out with my friends and I feel threatened by a male or think they are threatening towards my friends, I will punch them.
“I don’t talk to anyone about the abuse I suffered, I can’t and find it better to bottle it up. I don’t talk about it as I don’t want to think about what happened and keep it buried.”
The statement described how the victim has done “so much damage through drinking” to numb her existence and can only relax when she is not sober.
“With regards to Mark, I think he is evil, I think he enjoys dragging this whole thing out and wanted me to go through this process for as long as possible.
“I don’t believe that Mark will ever show any remorse for what he has done, I can see it in his face that he feels nothing.
“I hate Mark, I don’t think he will stop, he is the most dangerous person I have ever met and when he does come out he will do it again.”
Following his arrest by officers from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit in December 2016, a warrant was executed at his home address during which they seized a number of electronic devices.
The items were examined and a total of more than 10,000 indecent images, from Category A to C, were discovered on hard drives belonging to Browning.
He was subsequently charged in August 2017 with six counts of rape, 17 counts of indecent assault and three counts of possessing indecent images of children.
Browning pleaded guilty to the indecent image offences at a previous hearing, but denied rape and indecent assault.
Sentencing Browning on Friday, Judge Stephen Holt said: “You’ve utterly destroyed her life and childhood.”
Andrew Oliver, for Browning, said the defendant was “still very young” when the offending took place.
Browning was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register indefinitely.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.