February 2023

Paedophile left victim feeling suicidal as she was forced to relive ordeal in court

A paedophile sexually abused a young girl to the extent that it left her feeling suicidal as she was forced to give evidence in court.

Andrew Webb, 35, of Glyncoch, Pontypridd, carried out the attack when she was under the age of 13. When the young girl realised what was happening, the assault was reported to the police and Webb was arrested.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday heard Webb, of Garth Avenue, was charged with two counts of rape but denied the accusations.

He was found guilty following a trial and appeared at his sentencing hearing via video link from HMP Parc.

In victim personal statements read out to the court by prosecutor John Ryan, the victim said: “Since what Andrew has done to me, my life has never been the same. I had to cope with keeping this to myself for so long and did not tell anyone because I thought they wouldn’t believe me. I suffered from the abuse he’s given me which led to self harm over the years and spent endless nights of sleeplessness and dreams of what he’s done to me.”

The victim said she was a child and Webb did “horrible things” to her and she felt unable to trust anyone for fear of the abuse happening again. She said the abuse had affected her schooling, had left her with low self esteem and unanswered questions about why he committed the abuse.

She added: “I missed out on so much, he took my childhood from me. I want him to pay and to face up to what he did to me. I want justice for the horrific things he did to me. No amount of time he spends in prison will take away the pain but I hope it will help me move on and have a normal life.”

The victim’s mother said she was angry at Webb for “taking her little girl” and she would never forgive him. She said she felt like “a horrendous mother” for failing to keep her daughter safe, and the defendant had shown no remorse.

The victim’s grandmother said Webb had “knocked the spark” out of her granddaughter and left her “a shell of a person”.

Mr Ryan said the victim had suffered “severe psychological harm” and during her cross examination in the trial, she had said “I kept thinking about ending myself”.

In mitigation, defence barrister Laurence Jones said his client maintained his innocence. He said the abuse had only taken place on two occasions and he had not used blackmail or threats.

He said the defendant suffered with mental health issues and would find prison hard due to him being diabetic.

Sentencing, Judge Shoman Khan said it was “little surprise” the victim had been “significantly harmed” by Webb raping her. He added: “Your offending caused her severe psychological harm.”

Webb was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and will serve two thirds of the sentence before he is considered for parole.

He was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 20 years and to sex offender notification requirements indefinitely.

The defendant was also made subject to a restraining order indefinitely.