September 2008

Stepfather’s abuse led to suicide

Two years of abuse by her stepfather led a woman to kill herself, a court has been told.

Michael Trerise, 57, of Stithians, Cornwall, was jailed for six years after he admitted eight counts of indecent assault.

Truro Crown Court heard he regularly tied up his stepdaughter Stephanie Randle, when she was aged between five and seven.

Trerise wrote in a confession note: “I feel responsible for her death.”

The court heard that Ms Randle killed herself at her home in Mutley, Plymouth, on 1 April 2007, aged 34.

When she was a child living in Coventry, Trerise had tied her up and blindfolded her before performing sexual acts, while her mother was out working at a pub .

Trerise and his wife divorced in the 1980s, and he returned to live in Cornwall. His stepdaughter went to Plymouth.

But the court heard that Ms Randle, who spent much of her time volunteering for the National Trust, was haunted by the abuse which had been inflicted on her twice-weekly.