Victim relives horror at the hands of Sunderland sex beast

Catherine Lenjahan
Catherine Lenjahan

A woman attacked by an evil paedophile rapist from Sunderland has told how his return to jail after more victims came forward has left her re-living her own horrific ordeal.

Catherine Lenjahan was only seven years old when David Carter raped her.

Erika Lenaghan

Erika Lenaghan

It was the start of nine years of hell - and it still haunts her today.

Carter - who was married to Catherine’s sister, Erika Lenaghan, when the abuse started - was jailed for 10-years in 2006 after he was found guilty of seven counts of rape.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Following the sentence Catherine, 37, started to try and begin to rebuild her shattered life.

David Carter

David Carter

But the memories of her ordeal at the hands of Carter came flooding back when other victims came forward and the sex beast was brought back to court, where he pleaded guilty to offences of rape and indecent assaults.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the abuse happened around the same time as his first victim Catherine was being abused, however, it was only now the two victims felt strong enough to speak out and report it to police.

On Monday, Carter, 57, was given another nine years behind bars, with lifelong sex offender registration and sexual harm prevention order, after being branded as “dangerous” by a judge Robert Adams.

Catherine, who has waived her right to anonymity, said: “I just felt sick when I was being told what he’d done to his other victims.

"The case has brought it all back me, how I felt, the times I tried to take my own life, how it made me feel, everything.

"I’ll never forgive him for what he’s done. He can rot in hell.

"I was seven years old when it first started. When I was 26 I was serious about taking my own life.

"He went all the way through court pleading not guilty but a jury found him guilty. He got 10 years."

Catherine added: "At the time you feel as though you are on your own, but you’re not.

"When I got justice, it never crossed my mind he was doing the same thing to others.

"But, the only thing I can say to other victims is you have to come forward."

Carter’s conviction also brought back harrowing memories for his former partner Erika, 48.

She was just 18 when she first met Carter, who was then 27, back in 1986 when she was just 18.

However, their relationship was not a happy one and she finally plucked up the courage to leave in 2000.

But it was five years later before she would discover the man she married was a paedophile and had abused and raped her little sister for almost a decade.

Now, as Carter is returned behind bars, she says the recent court case has brought everything back.

Erika, 48, said: "I just didn’t want to believe this was happening again.

"I’m devastated by the sentence - nine years for what he has done?

"It is disgusting. It has left me traumatised."

The court heard Carter, whose address was given as Mallory Place, Gateshead, has health problems.

One of his victims said after Carter's latest jail term they hope the jailing of the paedophile will encourage others to speak out and report their abusers.

The victim said: "What he has done has ruined me. He has taken everything from me.

"When I was younger I never knew what a paedophile was, but now I do and it makes me physically sick.

"There’s not a single emotion you can pinpoint."

The victim added: "I’m happy with the sentence, as we were told he could be looking at something as little as five years.

"I’m happy with the outcome. I just want to move on with my lives.

"I hope seeing him jailed will encourage victims of sex attacks to find the strength to come forward."