By Rob George 27/04 Updated: 08/05 16:58
A WOMAN who was sexually assaulted by disgraced former Worcestershire County Council leader George Lord in the 1970s has spoken about the abuse she suffered.
The victim, who was a teenager when she was groomed by Lord, released a statement through police in a bid to encourage other victims of historic sexual abuse to come forward and contact the police.
Lord, 79, was jailed for four years on April 3 for assaulting a 19-year-old council employee in 2010 and for indecently assaulting a teenage girl in the 1970s.
In her statement, the victim noted Lord referred to the 19-year-old as 'delusional' but she believed the only person who was delusional was Lord himself.
"You (Lord) said to me once ‘When you are older you will think all sorts of bad things about me'. How right you were," she added.
The victim praised the police for their support and she was pleased they took her allegations as seriously as the more recent case.
She said: "The officers involved in the case were so caring towards me - I can't thank or praise them enough. The place where
I was interviewed to recall my abuse is specially equipped, and is used by the police for vulnerable or intimidated victims, including child victims.
"On the wall there were some pictures that children had drawn which absolutely broke my heart. That made me really determined to go through the process as I felt that it would in a very small way send the message out that you can't treat people like this, no matter how important you think you are.
The victim said she didn't report Lord at the time because of a number of reasons which included her difficult childhood and low self-esteem.
"I was being groomed; I was so naive that I stupidly believed we were ‘in a relationship' and he enjoyed my company.
"Saying that, I knew deep down the relationship was wrong, but a child's mind works different to that of an adult and I just resigned myself to the situation.
"The memory of the control he had over me is the thing that upsets me most of all now. As I got older the reality started to sink in and then I just thought it was too late to go to the police.
"I also didn't realise that as a victim of sexual abuse you are protected by anonymity, so your name is not publicly reported in the press," she added.
The victim also urged others who may have suffered a similar experience to take the plunge and come forward
"Because George Lord pleaded guilty in the end, I did not have to give evidence, although a small part of me wanted to face him in court and tell everyone the disgusting things that man did to me. The details given in court cannot fully express the huge impact that the abuse had on aspects of my life.
"I feel empathy for the other victim who went through the difficulty of going to court and having the intimate details of her attack in the public domain. She is a legend as far as I am concerned and if it wasn't for her I would probably never have come forward.
"I wish to say that whilst the crime had a very negative effect on many aspects of my life, I now have the happiest life anyone could ever have and despite what happened to me I feel I am very lucky. I get upset to think of others who have experienced similar or worse abuse that have never recovered. My heart goes out to them," she added.
Below is a extract of the victim's Personal Statement which was heard in court before Lord was sentenced.
"You (Lord) portrayed yourself as a pillar of society. As a child I was deluded by your own delusions of self-importance. As I became older I saw you for what you really are: arrogant, manipulative, amoral, dishonest and dishonourable.
"You do not deserve the positions of public responsibility or the academic accolades you have held. The public have trust in people in positions of power and it is a heinous act to betray that trust.
"When I was young and naive you abused your status. You did this for your own self-gratification with no thought or concern to the effect it would have on me. You said to me once ‘When you are older you will think all sorts of bad things about me'. How right you were.
"Integrity does not come from status, title or qualifications, it comes from trust, honour, humility and valuing other human beings. You have no integrity and are now left with the most appropriate status of all: that of a sex offender".
How To Get Help
* Anyone who wants to speak to West Mercia Police should call 101. (In an emergency always call 999.)
* Victim Support are available on 0845 126 4101 or www.victimsupport.org.uk
* The Survivors Trust website is http://www.thesurvivorstrust.org/
* Worcestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (WRSASC) can be contacted on 01905 724514 or at www.wrsasc.org.uk
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