July 2012 – Man who abused his own children has died in prison

December 2010

Jail for pervert father, 80, who raped and abused his three children

A father who raped and abused three of his children has been jailed for 14 years.

Pervert Donald Lear, 80, committed horrific abuse against his two daughters Virginia and Kerstin , as well as his son Vincent. 

But he could now spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of the crimes which happened over 35 years ago.

His wife Brenda, the children’s mother, is alleged to have encouraged the crimes but was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Judge Michael Roach sentenced Lear for 23 sexual offences at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, including the rape of Kerstin when she was 11-years-old.

The case came to court after tormented Vincent broke his silence and reported the abuse to police at the age of 52.

Judge Roach told Lear: ‘The offences were dreadful and I have no doubt from what I’ve seen and heard that the offences in respect of each of these children, now adults, have blighted their lives substantially.

‘That fact has to be very much borne in mind when considering the right sentence so far as you are concerned.’  

Vincent, of Brentry, Bristol, wept as the sentence was announced and outside court  joyfully repeated the words ‘I did it, I did it’, while hugging his siblings and family.

Mother-of-five Kerstin said the family were relieved the case was over.

She said: ‘I do believe the sentence gave us justice. We can never replace our childhoods but we feel the justice system has worked.

‘We hope this will encourage other people to come forward if they have been the victims of any form of abuse, no matter how long ago it happened.’  

She also pointed to the case having successfully reunited Virginia and Vincent, who had got back in contact for the first time in more than 20 years.

Mitigating for Lear, Brendon Moorhouse said he was the oldest person to have ever be remanded at Gloucester Prison.

He said he was in ‘very poor health’ and suffered medical problems, including several heart attacks.

Mr Moorhouse added: ‘Your honour is dealing with a man of good character, whose offences stopped a long time ago.’  

Former dance teacher Lear, who left his wife for another woman, had denied the wrongdoing and claimed the complainants had collaborated against him to ruin his social life.

Bristol Crown Court heard last month how Vincent was aged around 12 when his father turned to him whilst watching TV and said: ‘When the girls have gone to bed, me and your mother are going to teach you something about sex.’  

He then described how the couple began to have sex and encouraged him to join in.

‘It was my father’s idea of sex education. I didn’t have sex with my mother, I felt embarrassed, violated and scared.

‘The next day I didn’t know what to do. I just carried on as normal and nothing was ever said.’  

Kerstin, 51, of Wiltshire, had revealed how Lear started abusing her at the age of seven, that later led to rape.

She said: ‘He used to come into the bedroom I shared with Virginia, who was four or five at the time. He put his hands under the bed clothes and would touch my private parts.’  

When she was 11, her father raped her as her mother watched.

She added: ‘He told me to get something from his bedroom.

‘My mum was in there waiting, he came in and locked the door. He raped me and my mother encouraged it. She was actively involved. I wanted to kill myself.’  

Virginia, 49, Bristol, was sexually abused by her father from the age of nine.

She said: ‘I didn’t really know what was happening. I knew it was wrong but I didn’t understand.’