“Substantial sentence” given to man who abused child over many years
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“The victim feared no-one would believe them, but I reassured them that I’d be at their side throughout the journey.”
Specialist child protection detectives from our CAVA (Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adult) Team have paid tribute to a survivor of appalling childhood sexual abuse which included rape.
Kenneth Murphy, now 59, and living in Cumbria used emotional blackmail to control the young child over more than a decade.
In 2020 a third party reported on behalf of the survivor who was now an adult and experiencing such lasting trauma that they were reluctant to engage with police.
CAVA ensured safeguarding was in place and enquiries continued, with Murphy initially being interviewed by our colleagues at Cumbria Police in January 2021.
He denied all the accusations put to him and in April 2021 the survivor bravely said they were ready to provide vital evidence so CAVA Detective Sergeant Claire Baker met them in person to provide reassurance and to talk through the enquiry process.
On 3rd July 2022, Murphy was charged with six counts of rape, assaulting a female aged 13 and over and inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.
He continued to deny the offences, however following a six-day trial at Teesside Crown Court in September Murphy was found guilty of all eight offences.
And yesterday at Teesside Crown Court Murphy was sentenced to 22-years in prison.
He was also served a lifetime restraining order and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
Detective Sergeant Baker said: “The survivor was understandably traumatised and initially felt completely unable to support an investigation as they feared they just wouldn’t be believed.
“I offered constant reassurance there’d be no pressure from us and our investigation could be carried out at a pace which would be comfortable and acceptable to them.
“I hope this courageous survivor can continue to rebuild their life safe in the knowledge that Murphy is now imprisoned.”
CAVA Det Chief Inspector Matt Murphy King added: “Murphy continually refused to accept what he had done and he even made threats to seriously self-harm when officers initially spoke to him.
“He’s a manipulative individual who used intimidation to silence his victim when they were younger but their courage in supporting our investigation enabled us to charge him and to see him dealt with at court.
“This substantial sentence sends a very clear message to anyone who believes they can abuse vulnerable children and young people and not be held to account.
“I hope it will help the survivor going forward and I wish them all the very best as they continue to come to terms with what they’ve been through.”
You can report any kind of abuse, recent or non-recent, at any time to Cleveland Police online via the website or by phoning 101.