A VICTIM of a paedophile has spoken of her relief as her 68-year-old attacker was sent to prison.
Keith Brown, formerly of Ray Street, Heanor, was sentenced to 18 years in jail, nine of them on licence, for molesting seven youngsters between the 1960s and 1980s.
The former Scout leader had previously been found guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault and five of rape.
Brown, who preyed on both male and female victims between the ages of 12 and 16 was only brought to the attention of the law in 2009 – more than 30 years after the crimes took place.
One of his victims, who we are calling ‘Leanne’ to protect her identity, has spoken of her ordeal.
Overcome with relief moments after Brown was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court, she said: “The judge put what all of us have been feeling for many years into context.
“There are people out there who may have been abused and kept silent, this shows there is a way.
“We don’t stay young forever, we grow old and we find a voice.”
Brown was ordered to spend half of his 18-year sentence in jail and the other half out on licence.
He will be required to sign the sex offenders’ register and will be prevented from seeking the company of any person under 18 without the presence of their parent or guardian as well as adhering to other orders.
Sentencing Brown, Judge Andrew Hamilton said he deplored the Heanor man for not pleading guilty to the crimes and instead forcing his victims to endure a lengthy trial.
He added: “As a result these people have had to give evidence in front of a jury of strangers. One can only imagine how much worse that must have been.
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The judge added: “You had the power to remove that but you didn’t. It shows to me you had no remorse, not a jot at all.”
This week Leanne, said going through the week-long trial of her attacker and being forced to give evidence as he had pleaded not guilty was an ordeal. However, she said she has no regrets.
Like all of Brown’s victims, she thought she was the only one.
After Leanne reported him to police on March 2, 2009, she described her actions as having a ‘snowball’ effect.
Once she had come forward, other victims were encouraged to reveal crimes he had committed against them.
Leanne said: “While you are keeping silent it is festering away inside of you. It affects you on so many levels. By being able to break the silence it stops the disease.
Leanne hopes seeing her attacker brought to justice, so many years after the crimes took place will offer hope to other people faced with similar situations and convince them to go to police.
She said: “By the time our case had got to trial there were seven people. By going and revealing theses secrets you have no idea how many others you could be saving.”