'He's ruined my life in so many ways'
A WOMAN who was repeatedly raped when she was just six years old celebrated last week after a jury unanimously convicted the depraved monster responsible. But in a brave and exclusive interview with the POST Mary reveals how her happiness is tinged with
A WOMAN who was repeatedly raped when she was just six years old celebrated last week after a jury unanimously convicted the depraved monster responsible.
But in a brave and exclusive interview with the POST Mary reveals how her happiness is tinged with regret and thoughts of "what if?"
David Bowles, the man she describes as "her mother's son" preyed on her at the family home in Dagenham in 1963.
He also molested four other children that she knows of, but fears there could be more victims.
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"I keep thinking, what if I had come forward sooner?" she said.
"Would he not have been able to interfere with all those other children?"
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It was not until the death of her mother three years ago that she finally decided she could go to the police.
"When my mum was alive I always thought about what it would do to her, seeing her own flesh and blood fighting it out in a court room," said Mary.
"So I let her rest in peace for a year, and then, in 2007 I gave my statement to the police.
"It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do."
Bowles, who is now 60 and uses a wheelchair, was described by Judge Peter Birts at Snaresbrook Crown Court as an "evil man" who carried out a "campaign of rape" over 40 years.
He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars after a three-week trial.
"David is my mother's son from a previous marriage," said Mary. "I will never call him my brother. A brother wouldn't do what he did.
"He was a bully who used the fact that he was older and stronger to get what he wanted.
"He would tell us if we ever grassed him up, he would do us in."
Mary says she has tried to get on with her life, but has always felt like she was trapped in a box.
She said: "I've been an alcoholic, I've been on drugs. I was even homeless for a while.
"Relationships are very difficult for me. I can't trust anyone.
"He has ruined my life in so many ways. He took away my childhood.
"I couldn't let him go on just living his life like nothing had happened.
"I'm the victim and I'm the one living in fear. I felt like he was laughing at me."
But now Mary says she is starting a new chapter, with the help and support of her friends and her sister, who she calls her "rock".
Bowles, now of Portsmouth, has been ordered to serve at least 10 years of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, meaning he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Mary is not the victim's real name.