Paedophile 'robbed me of my childhood'

Peter John Healey
Peter John Healey

A paedophile described as a “monster” has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing two young girls.

Peter Healey, 65, of Brompton-by-Sawdon, preyed on the under-age girls over a two-year period from the late 1990s. The abuse took places at properties near Filey and in Cleethorpes when Healey was in his late 40s.

York Crown Court heard that Healey told one of the terrified young victims it was their “secret”.

The girl would later tell police that Healey had abused her on numerous occasions when he had been drinking.

Prosecutor Nick Adlington said the girl dared not tell anyone about the shocking abuse because she feared no-one would believe her and blamed herself.

The other victim reported the matters in 2000 and Healey was arrested, but he made vehement denials and the prosecuting authorities decided not to pursue the matter for lack of evidence.

Mr Adlington said the first victim did not report the abuse until October 2014, by which time the victims were badly traumatised young women struggling to come to terms with what happened to them in childhood.

Healey, who was married at the time, was arrested again in January 2015 following the girl’s complaint, but continued to deny the allegations, claiming the victim was a liar.

The case was set down for a trial and Healey maintained his innocence until just before a jury was sworn in, when he pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault.

Five of those charges related to the girl who kept the abuse a secret for nearly two decades out of fear.

At the sentence hearing on Wednesday, the court heard that Healey had 38 previous convictions including one for indecently assaulting a young woman in Flixton in 1990, when he was imprisoned for six months.

Victim-impact statements read out in court revealed the truly devastating effects of his evil acts on the two girls, who are still bearing the psychological scars in adulthood.

One of the victims said her life had been ruined by Healey’s monstrous acts and “the years of emotional trauma I’ve had to suffer”.

She said Healey had “robbed me of my childhood and completely shattered my ability to trust people”.

“I was just an innocent child and he is a vile, opportunistic monster who has dominated my thoughts for years,” she added.

The other victim said the anger she had felt since the abuse had been exacerbated by the authorities’ failure to act on her original allegations 16 years ago.

She said the abuse had affected her school life and led to mood swings and panic attacks.

Defence barrister Rob Stevenson said Healey would live out “a lonely existence for the rest of his life” and that jail “will not be easy for him” because of serious health problems.

Mr Batty said Healey’s “gross acts” and the initial decision by the prosecuting authorities not to pursue the matters had a profound effect on the victims, who had suffered “severe psychological harm at your hands”.

As well as the 10-year jail sentence, he ordered Healey to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for life and made a sexual-harm prevention order which will restrict his contact with children when he is released from prison.