A brave woman still suffering from memories of the horrific abuse she was subjected to by a diseased predator stood up to him and told him that she had found her voice and she would not let it stop her from living her life.
The woman was abused by the evil Christian Wood, 43, from the age of eight for a period of six years. He bravely reported it to the police when he was 17 and, following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court, Wood was found guilty of sexual assault of a child, relating to three instances, four counts of sexual activity by a child and one count of sexual communication with a child.
The charge of sexual communication with a child was said to relate to another young woman who was 14 at the time.
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The court heard Wood’s first victim say he sexually assaulted her “too many times to count”, but she bravely confronted him before the court handed down an extended 13-year sentence on Friday.
In her victim impact statement, the woman told Wood, who appeared on a video link from HMP Doncaster, how she was forced to leave education early due to the effects of her abuse. She told him that she had tried to take her life, that she had been self-harming since she was 12 years old, and that she suffers flashbacks that disassociate her from her surroundings and make her vomit.
She said: “I want to share my experience and I want people to know that this is my life and to speak for everyone who has been through a similar experience.
“I want my voice to be heard now that I know how to use it. I don’t remember the good times, you have damaged my mental health and my motivation. I had to leave school due to the effects of the abuse and lost my access to education. I lost the opportunity to continue my education.”
The woman said Wood had “isolated” and severely abused her and now she has trust issues. She added: “I feel like I’m socially, mentally and emotionally behind because of this.”
She said: “I have lost friends and family who couldn’t handle what was happening. I have flashbacks every day and because of them I end up throwing up. My flashback responses are to run or breathe and hide. I know this is my body trying to protect myself from you and your actions. I disengage from where I am and go back to the experience in which you abused me. Flashbacks can happen anywhere, which restricts me from doing a lot of things.”
The woman said she wouldn’t let the abuse stop her, telling Wood, “I’m not going to let this stop me from living my life. I’m not going to let you stop me. This is me gaining my power and my voice.” I’m going to learn to deal with this. I am free and I will prosper.”
His honorary judge Peter Kelson KC said Wood targeted his second victim over Snapchat, even giving her “pregnancy advice” when she was 14. nights” and Wood had “severely damaged” his trust in relationships.
She added: “I could let his selfish actions ruin my life, but that is a choice I refuse to make. I will use it to maximize my potential. No consequence will be enough to heal the damage he caused. I don’t need that for peace of mind .”
In mitigation, Graham O’Sullivan, told the court that Wood had no prior convictions on his record and said there was a gap in the abuse he committed against his first victim, adding that it is “perhaps persistent for a man who briefly succumbed to impulses but later found himself succumbing to the last of the offenders”.
Judge Kelson made Wood the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, concluding that he is a dangerous offender, and imposed an extended 13-year sentence on Wood consisting of a 10-year custodial sentence and a period of furlough. extended three years. He said Wood will have to serve at least two-thirds of the custody period before appearing before the Parole Board, which will determine if it is safe to release him.
The judge told Wood that his behavior was “predatory” and that his offense was “insensitive in the extreme.” He said: “These crimes were absolutely reprehensible.” The court was told that in his own defense during the trial, Wood tried to exploit his victim’s mental health problems. The judge told him: “I am satisfied to be sure that as long as you have any sexual function you will continue to be a danger to children and you should never be left alone with children.”