We found this story for Grazia. Our client asked to remain anonymous due to the nature of her story but she was very happy with it as Grazia treated her with respect and ensured her story was portrayed the way she wanted it to be. It’s always a pleasure to work with Grazia and Busola, the writer on this piece, did a fantastic job.
Sally stood by her father despite the accusation. When her uncle did the unthinkable, it was her father she ran to. But in the end they were as bad as each other…
“My parents broke up when I was little and although I hardly ever saw Dad. He remarried and had more children. I wanted a father in my life and felt rejected and hurt that he didn’t long for a daughter in me.
Then when I was 14, my dad, 35, split up with his wife and moved nearer us.We started spending time together and got on so well, he became my best friend. He was fun, kind, adventurous – I loved being with him. It felt so good to have a father at last.
In February last year, out of the blue, Dad was arrested. Mum was informed the charge was sex with an underage girl. Dad denied it. And I believed him. I had to – I trusted him. If he said it wasn’t true, I had to stand by him. He was my dad, he’d never do something like that. Dad was given bail and was due back in court nearly a year later. As the months went on, Dad continued to plead innocent and our entire family continued to support him.
Four months later, after a silly argument with Mum, I stormed out of the house and declared I was going to live with Dad, who was living with his aunt and uncle at the time. I’d known them for years so I fitted in quite well. I had my own room and I’d only been there a few weeks when I was getting changed and noticed a video camera on the shelf, hidden under a cloth. My heart raced as I moved the cloth to reveal a red light – the camera was on and it was recording my every move. My fingers were shaking as I pressed rewind. At the beginning of the footage, clear as day, my great uncle, 56, was there, setting up the camera. I dressed and ran out of the house.
There was only one person who could comfort me – my dad. I ran straight to his work and told him what had happened. I couldn’t believe Lesley had done something like that, I felt so violated. I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. But I was thankful I had my parents. They were both brilliant and supported me as I informed the police. Lesley was charged with voyeurism and as we waited for him to appear in court, we tried to carry on as normal.
Dad took us to Alton Towers and although his own court date was looming, he tried to put on a brave face. On the 1st December 2010, my world changed. Dad appeared in court and pleaded guilty to all charges. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Later that week, my uncle also pleaded guilty. He was barred from going near me for 10 years and given a sexual offences prevention order. I used to think all I wanted was my dad. Now I realise it was Mum who had been there since day one. She’s the only person in the world I can trust.