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 Sexual abuse survivor speaks out as rapist is jailed for 22 years

 07/02/2020

​“If you are experiencing abuse, you need to find that last ounce of strength to come forward and speak out. There are people out there who can help you and support you – you will not have to face it alone.”


These are the words of a woman who suffered appalling abuse at the hands of David Simpson.


After she and other women who were abused by Simpson came forward and reported him to the police, he was charged with five counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.


He denied the charges but was found guilty of all counts after a trial at Durham Crown Court last November.


The 46-year-old, of Consett, appeared back at court last week where he was sentenced to 22 years in prison, followed by four years on licence supervision – making a total sentence of 26 years.


He was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and put on the sex offender register, both for life.


Following his sentencing, one of his victims has spoken out in the hope that her story will encourage other people experiencing the same abuse to come forward and seek help. 


As well as emotionally manipulating her, Simpson also sexually abused and raped the woman.


“As a result of the abuse, I felt like I was completely alone – I felt I had no family or friends that I could turn to and tell them what had happened. But coming forward to the police was a huge step,” she said.


“They were extremely supportive and helped me get the support and help that I needed.


“When he was finally jailed, I felt a huge sense of relief. He was finally off the streets and could no longer hurt me.


“To other people who are in a similar situation, I would say you have to find that last ounce of strength to come forward and speak out.


“A manipulative person will make you feel like you are totally alone, but you are not – there are people out there, like the police or the charity, Harbour, who will help you and who will support you.”


During the sentencing, Judge James Adkin said he considered Simpson to pose a risk of further sexual harm to women.


Detective Constable Neil Oakes, from Durham Constabulary, said: “This was a very difficult and distressing case for those involved. I hope this positive result provides some closure and reassurance to the victims.


“Simpson was a dangerous offender and this lengthy prison sentence reflects the risk he had posed to the public.


“The victims were left traumatised by the offences. They have shown great courage and strength by coming forward to police.


“We hope it encourages anyone else who has been subject to this kind of offending to come forward and report it to police. Reporting serious sexual offences is a big decision however victims’ welfare is our priority and we will do everything we can provide you with the support you need.”


Anyone who has been a victim of rape, sexual assault or abuse, recent or non-recent, should call police on 101, or call 999 in an emergency.

 

If you don’t wish to speak to police, please contact the Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0191 372 9202 or visit themeadowsdurham.org.uk