A DYING grandad has spoken of his 12 months of hell after he was accused of being a paedophile.
Raymond Fisher, who only has months to live, was arrested a year ago, having been accused of sexual activity with a teenage boy ,and was due to stand trial next May.
It meant a year of hell for Mr Fisher, during which time he was told to stay away from his 11 grandchildren and was branded a ‘paedo’ by people he had known for years.
But the case against the 67-year-old, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has now been dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service said new evidence had come to light, which it said ‘cast significant doubt’ on the boy’s credibility.
Yet while Mr Fisher’s family are relieved that the legal proceedings have been discontinued, they are still reeling from the cruel taunts, rumours and threats to which they have been subjected since he was charged with eight counts of sexual activity with a child.
The retired car sprayer is now hooked up to oxygen 24 hours a day as he struggles to breathe on his own – and he is too frightened to even visit his home village of Fence Houses.
“It’s affected everything,” Mr Fisher told the Echo. “I can’t go out. I’ve only been out twice in the last year.
“It has really knocked us back. People I’ve known for years, have been calling me a dirty paedo.
“I’ve been getting phone calls from people who wouldn’t say it to my face, calling me a rapist. People were asking where I lived.”
Mr Fisher, who is originally from Hendon, now lives in a caravan on a former military base, in Durham. But he insists that he was not driven from his former home and is happy where he is.
Now Mr Fisher’s daughters Kelly-Ann, 36, and Lindsay Fisher, 32, and 34-year-old Rachel Smith are keen to set the record straight.
Kelly-Ann said: “He has less than a year, we have been told.
“If he had passed away he would never have cleared his name, and that’s disgusting. It’s absolutely rubbish and it should never have gone to court.
“We all work in shops in Houghton and it was the talk of the place for months and months.
“People used to leave the newspaper open on the counter on the page with my dad’s name.
“It’s been the worst year of our lives,” Rachel said. “People turned away from him, people he has known for years.”
After the allegations were made, both Rachel and Kelly-Ann had to virtually stop their children seeing their grandad.
“My dad always had my kids staying with him,” Rachel said. “That had to finish. He wasn’t to have unsupervised contact with children. Social Services said I could have had the kids taken off us if he did. My kids absolutely love my dad and I had to say they couldn’t see him. My eldest is 13 and I had to explain to him why, but he just kept saying ‘it’s not true, it’s not true’.”