July 2023

Victim survivors speak out to help other victims of sexual abuse to come forward

Two women who were sexually abused by a man who befriended them as children are urging other victims of abuse to come forward.

Both victim survivors tell of their suffering and urge other victims to come forward to police.

This has come about following the conviction of David Paul, 57 (05.01.66) of Windmill Close, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and a further three years’ on license at Wood Green Crown Court (sitting at Hendon Magistrates’ Court) on Tuesday, 28 March 2023 after being found guilty of the following offences on 31 January:

  • Two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;

  • Two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The court heard how the current victim survivor, who would like to be known as Amy, came forward to police after she saw a social media and newspaper article about Paul who had been convicted for similar offences in 2017 at the Central Criminal Court.

These offences had taken place between June 89 and June 92 against an earlier victim survivor, Rebecca – who has waived her rights to anonymity. She was eight years old at the time these offences started.

This was the catalyst which determined Amy to come forward and report the offences to police in 2019. Knowing that she was not alone, gave her the strength to come forward.

Victim survivor Amy, has since stated: “The day I learned that David had previously abused other girls like me was the worst day of my life. I felt sick, ashamed, and heartbroken. After so many years I had almost accepted what had happened to me during my childhood. I had blamed myself for a very long time, and my mental and physical health suffered greatly because of this.

“It was only once I started to become an adult, did I start to realise. My way of coping was to shut everything out, to focus on my studies and run away. Until the day came that I could run no more. I decided to fly back to the UK, across from the other side of the world, where I was living, and to face my trauma. I told my closest friends and family what had happened to me, and I also reported the abuse to the police. Despite this being the hardest thing I have needed to do, Andreea, Grace and the team at the Metropolitan Police have supported me every step of the way. I not only had the support from the police, but also Victim Support, my closest friends and family.

“During the trial proceedings I also had the honour of meeting Rebecca herself, along with her sister. I had heard David talk of Rebecca and so I knew of her, but I never put two and two together. I was told in advance that she was coming along to the trial to support the prosecution. The day I met her, I saw her from a distance, we caught each other’s eye and without any words I knew who she was. We walked towards each other and confirmed what we already knew.

“I felt so empowered and strong, and from that moment I knew we had a very special bond. To have her by my side along with Andreea, my mum, my dad and my close friends was truly amazing.”

An investigation was launched by the North Area Protection Unit and David Paul was later charged.

Detectives discovered Paul had moved to a residential address in Enfield in around 2003 to 2004, opposite the road from Amy’s house.

Over a period of months he befriended Amy who was around 12-years-old and her family, infiltrating himself into their lives.

He would spend time at their home and tapped into Amy’s love of football. He would invite her to his home to enable her to watch her favourite team play. He would also participate in football matches with other children from the area and their families.

He purchased a computer, which he kept in his bedroom and encouraged Amy to visit him there to help him understand it. He also purchased a pet snake for Amy, which he also kept in his bedroom. He again encouraged her to spend time in his bedroom to allow her to play with the pet.

He had become a trusted friend of the family so over time Amy would visit him on her own. It was during these times that he began to groom her. He convinced Amy that he had feelings for her and he was her secret boyfriend.

He made her keep this ‘relationship’ secret, telling her that he would be bullied or harmed if anyone would ever find out about it. He was then 39 years old and introduced the subject of sex into their conversations and over a period of several months performed sexual acts on Amy and himself, in her presence. Amy describes his actions as ‘forceful and animalistic’ which traumatised her.

Amy remained bound for years by her promise not to reveal to anyone any aspects of the abuse she suffered. He remained a close friend of the family which was one of the main reasons why Amy finally moved away from London.

Years later, in her twenties, she confided in a friend about the abuse she had suffered at Paul’s hands. At the time she believed she would have taken this to her grave but Rebecca gave her the strength to report his abuse:

Victim survivor, Rebecca stated: “I am so pleased that I finally had the courage to report him knowing that I had helped someone else come forward and have the strength to get her own justice.

“I met Amy at her trial for the first time. The first meeting was extremely emotional but I knew every thought and feeling she was going through and she allowed me to support her during the trial. Myself and Amy met several times following the trial before she returned to her home; we had conversations that I have never been able to have with any other person in my life. Even after the trial we were able to express our pain and hurt and confusion and know that we both felt the same. I still keep in touch with Amy and the only good thing to come out of this was a friend for life. I thought I was the only one and could never stop feeling that it must have been my fault because he hadn’t done it to anyone else. During Amy’s trial, the support from police was amazing.

May 2017

Soham man jailed for sexual offences

A Soham man has been jailed for four years for two counts of historic sexual abuse.

One of the charges involved a girl under the age of 14.

David John Paul, of Staploe Mews, was found guilty in a majority jury verdict of indecent assault on a female child

He was also found guilty by majority jury verdict of inciting a girl under fourteen years to have sex.

They are both sexual offences.

In a trial at the Old Bailey he was given a four year prison term for the indecent assault and four years to run concurrently for the inciting offence.

He will be made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO) and will be added to the Barring list which means he will be unable to carry out certain employment on his release in the interests of public safety.