March 2022

Victim’s mother slams sentence as Gillingham man David Sheedy convicted of child abuse

The mother of a woman who was sexually assaulted as a child has slammed the courts after her daughter’s abuser escaped being sent to prison.

The mum, who cannot be named to keep her daughter’s identity private, says both she and her daughter feel let down, angry and upset.

David Sheedy, 51, formerly of Gillingham, was found guilty of three charges at Maidstone Crown Court – indecent assault of a girl, sexual activity with a girl, and indecent exposure.

On Monday he was given a seven-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

The victim’s mother said: “As soon as my daughter heard that in court, she stormed out of the court room saying it was a ******* joke. And I don’t blame her. She is very upset and angry, we both are.

“We feel let down by the whole process. This has taken five years to come to court, we feel like it has been a waste of time.

“My daughter has had to endure the court case because he pleaded not guilty and has had to go through the trauma of giving evidence in court.

“We have had five years of stress and worry, and then a week-long trial, all for nothing. He wouldn’t even be cross examined in court, he is a coward.”

The abuse took place in Medway when the victim was in her early teens. She didn’t tell her mother until five years ago.

Her mum said: “I went straight to the police when she told me.

“The abuse has affected my daughter her whole life, she has had mental health problems, PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and she has been suicidal.

“He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what he has done to her, it’s not right.

“We were hoping for a five-year prison sentence. Him spending any length of time in prison would have felt more like justice.

“My daughter feels like this result will stop other victims of sexual abuse coming forward if they don’t think their abuser will be jailed.”

She said they were unlikely to challenge the sentence due to the stress and trauma caused by the process of the trial.

Sheedy was also given a rehabilitation order, told to carry out unpaid work and given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.