A former navy man who sexually abused his two stepdaughters and their babysitter has been told he will more than likely die in custody after being sentenced to 21 years in prison.

The 71-year-old, who we have not identified to protect the identity of the victims, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentencing today where powerful personal statements were read out, one personally by one of the stepdaughters. One his victims, the former babysitter, described him as a "truly disgusting man".

He had denied the accusations against him but was found guilty by a jury at Truro Crown Court last week of all ten charges: five of indecent assault on a female, four of indecent assault on a child under the age of 13, and one of rape. The indecent assault charges are of a sexual nature. The majority of the assaults were carried out in Helston in the eighties before they moved away.

The jury was unanimous in its decision, which was reached in little more than 90 minutes.


Verdict reached in trial of man accused of sexual abuse on own stepdaughters

In compelling victim impact statements the three women told the court how the abuse has affected them throughout their lives.

The older daughter, who read her statement out personally, told the court how she had moved away after meeting her husband but her life had been severely effected by what he'd done to her.

She said she was repeatedly triggered by what he did to her and how in her teens she turned to drink and drugs to forget, until she met her husband who had been her 'rock' throughout.

She said the police investigation had again raised issues for her but she wanted to help her sister who had been severely traumatised by what the man had done to her.

She said what he had done had severely adversely affected her and left her with a 'warped' view of sex which had effected her marriage. It had introduced self-doubt into what was normal and she felt she disgusted by sex.

It had ruined the instance of a 'cuddle' for her as that was what her stepfather had said to her before sexually assaulting her. She was hypersensitive to the prospect of her children seeing nudity including her own. She said the abuse had left numb and she described how she turned to alcohol in order to feel something and drank everyday and could not function without it.

Now with her own daughters she knew what a normal childhood should look like and felt let down by her mother who persuaded her to not tell anyone about the abuse. She struggled with the concept of being a victim and struggled at the thought of having a label attached.

The babysitter said in her statement that she still had nightmares about being pursued by him and felt shame and self blame. Difficulties about her not speaking out made intimacy harder. She felt very worried whether he had done it to others for many years and she blamed herself as she felt if she had spoken out it wouldn't have happened to others.

The younger stepdaughter said in her statement that the assaults had caused extreme trauma with her constantly fighting demons. She self harmed, was angry and depressed and feels like her days are stolen from her. She said she feels her body is dirty and she struggled with trust and relationships and keeps people away from her.

She had never had a career and had jobs that did not last very long. She described feeling self hatred and that his behaviour had tainted her entire childhood and she feels dark about the future.

"Any chance of a normal life has been destroyed by his sick sexual desires," she said. "I cannot form a loving trusting, physical relationship as much as I would like to. I feel unlovable. Who would want me the way I am? I would like to say the future is bright for me, I would like to say I see happiness ahead but I am tired of chasing it."

She said the four year delay in the trial coming to court meant that it had delayed the treatment she needs as she had various mental health conditions caused by the abuse that required nearly two dozen tablets a day to treat.

The court was told that the man had been of good character before the accusations and had tried to help others whilst in prison

Sentencing the 71-year-old, Her Honour Judge Anna Richardson said because his victims were disbelieved and he did not accept responsibility at an earlier stage he had lived a full life and had had the better years of his life, compared to his victims. "You ruined two childhoods and had a severe impact on the adult life of three women," she said.

She said he will only be assessed for release after serving two thirds of his sentence.