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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Courage of sex abuse victim praised by Cumbria police

Police have praised the courage of a young woman whose evidence helped to convict a man who subjected her to a two-year campaign of horrific sexual abuse.

David Townsley  photo
David Townsley

David Townsley, 42, was this week beginning a 14-year jail term for his crimes.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how he subjected his victim to a horrifying ordeal, repeatedly raping her from the age of just 12.

Townsley, of Nursery Place, Whitehaven, claimed that his young victim had invented the sex abuse but a jury found him guilty of five counts of rape and two indecent assaults on the schoolgirl.

Police have now revealed that the victim, who is now an adult, first came forward in June of last year.

She told officers how Townsley abused her childhood for two years when she was aged between 12 and 14.

Speaking after he was sentenced on Monday, Detective Constable Andrea Davidson, of Workington Police’s public protection unit, said: “The victim in this case was subject to sexual abuse by Townsley over a two-year period.

“She was only 12 when the abuse began.

“The sentence handed down reflects the horror of these offences and, quite rightly, the judge sees prison as the only place for him.

“The victim in this case has shown great courage in coming forward and I hope that she can now move on and try to rebuild her life.”

DC Davidson added: “I also hope that other victims of sexual abuse can take strength from this woman and have the confidence to contact the police themselves, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

“We have specially trained officers who will treat your case with sensitivity and in the strictest of confidence.”

During his trial, the jury heard how Townsley manipulated his victim, using coercion and threats to control her and keep the truth hidden.

His barrister revealed in court that other inmates in Durham Prison threatened to stab him.

If you are a victim and would like to speak to a specially trained officer, please contact Cumbria Police on 101.

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