A woman who was subjected to years of sexual abuse by her uncle has spoken of her relief after he was jailed.
Former Merchant Navy man David Sime was jailed for two years at Newcastle Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of two specimen charges of indecency with a child – one with his niece and a separate offence against a boy.
The 67-year-old, of Easedale, Seaton Sluice – who previously lived on Marden Estate in Cullercoats – pleaded his innocence throughout the seven-day trial.
Now his niece has waived her right to anonymity to open up about the devastating impact Sime had on her and urge any others in her position to come forward.
Lyndsey, 34, of Whitley Bay, said: “I can remember it starting when I was around four and went on until I was 12 or 13.
“He appeared very confident in what he was doing. He was very opportunistic when someone wasn’t in the room.
“When it first happened I was feeling very let down and not believed, as if he was being protected more than I was.
“That was very difficult to try and deal with as a child.
“It was a horrific experience to go through. No one should have to go through something like that.
“I spent a lot of years feeling very let down by those who were aware of it. I initially told my school, who called my parents in, but nothing was done.
“I spent a lot of years thinking I was the only one.
“I needed to not only have some closure for myself but the most important thing for me was I would hate to think of someone else going through this and I could have done something to prevent that.
“I had to walk past his house on the way to school every day.
“Although I didn’t have to spent time with him after first raising it, the physical abuse had stopped but it didn’t stop in its entirety as I had to go past his house every day on the way to school.”
The mum-of-two added: “Hatred isn’t a strong enough word to describe him. He has had a massive impact on my life.
“I would have liked to have thought he would have had the decency to admit his guilty and not make us go through the court hearing.
“We had resigned ourselves to the fact he was going to get a slap on the wrist or a suspended sentence so to get a custodial sentence was a massive outcome for us.
“We’ve spoken out, cleared our consciences and maybe given others the encouragement to come forward.”
The court heard Sime committed sex acts in front of Lyndsey when she was between five and 12.
He separately did the same thing in a storage cupboard in front of the male victim when he was between six and ten.
As well as the two-year prison sentence, Sime was made subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.
Andrew Rutter, defending, said since the offences Sime had helped look after his grandchildren without any concerns being raised.