A BRAVE sex abuse victim faced her attacker in court as she gave a moving insight into how he had “ruined” her adult life.
The woman, who cannot be named, said the ordeal she suffered at the hands of John Suckley, of Grangeview, Newbottle, Sunderland, left her afraid of intimacy and unable to fulfil her hopes to have children.
She said her health – and as a result her promising career – have been blighted by the after-effects of what she suffered as a teenager and she has constant feelings of loneliness, shame and even suicide.
The woman made the heartbreaking revelations from the witness box at Newcastle Crown Court, where she stood just feet away from her attacker, and read her victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing.
She told the court: “I am unable to have an intimate relationship with a man. I have tried and I gave up. Every time I am touched, I feel like I am being abused all over again.”
The woman told the court she has been left with a treatment-resistant depressive illness that she hopes may slowly improve now she has revealed the secret she has lived with for so long and seen a form of closure through the courts.
She added: “I am so ashamed of what he did to me.”
The woman ended her story with a humble “thank you for listening” as the courtroom sat in silence.
Judge Sean Morris jailed 71-year-old Suckley, known as “Wally”, for four years.
The judge said: “I have had to listen, and listen with care, to an extremely brave and very moving address to the court.
“It must have taken guts for this victim, who has been, in my view, severely traumatised by these offences in her past, and, in short, it has ruined her life.”
The judge told Suckley, who admitted indecent assault charges dating back more than 30 years, that he had launched a “campaign” of abuse against his victim as a teen.
The court heard Suckley has been in no trouble with the police before or since the attacks and was able to hand in glowing references to his otherwise outstanding character.
Lee Fish, defending, said Suckley is deeply ashamed of what he did.