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A woman who was sexually abused as a child has thanked police after her abuser was jailed and spoken of the long-term impact the ordeal has had.
She was one of three people abused as children by Albert Kirk who has been jailed today for a total of 24 years, with a further year on extended licence.
Kirk, 68, of Fal Drive, Witham had denied 26 child sex offences but was convicted of all of them on October 5 following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court:
• Three counts of rape;
• Three counts of attempted rape;
• 12 counts of sexual assault;
• Six counts of indecent assault;
• One count of assault by penetration;
• One count of indecency with a child.
The offences relate to three children and took place in the 1980s and 2010s in Chelmsford and Witham.
The woman, who is remaining anonymous, said: “I thought after the court hearing I would feel a bit better, but I don’t and it has badly affected my mental health.
“What he did has affected my whole life and has impacted my physical health too. I can’t hold a relationship down and it’s affected relationships with my family.
“No matter how they punish him, it can’t make what he did any better. He has already done the damage.
“I keep having bad nightmares, sometimes I think they’re real.
“I believe there may be many children out there that he has abused and who haven’t come forward, I hope that they can now speak out.
“I also believe someone like that preys on his victims and carefully selects them.
“I would encourage other people to come forward because this sort of thing has to stop.
“I can’t bear the thought of someone doing that to another child and that is why I have spoken out about what he did.
“There isn’t enough help out there and years ago, my ex-partner paid for counselling for me, but it didn’t work because it’s deep in my heart and it won’t go away, I have to live with it every day.
“I don’t think there is enough counselling out there for child abuse and there should be more funding for it.
“I hope that changes in the future.
“I want to thank the judge and jury for believing me.
“I want to thank my Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, Claire Rooney from CARA, I couldn’t have done it without her.
“Thank you too to DC Siobhann Murphy, DC Eden Quinn, and the Investigation Support Officers Alexandra Head and Gavin Hallett for their help.”
Detective Constable Siobhann Murphy, from our Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “I want pay tribute to the courage of the victims abused by Albert Kirk.
“It has taken incredible bravery to report what has happened to them and re-live that ordeal.
“It has had a profound affect on them and I hope seeing Kirk brought to justice because of their courageousness will help them move forward.”