Beast drove me to drugs and prostitution

AFTER years at the hands of evil paedophile Ian Stallard, his victim has today told how her horrific experience led her into a life of drugs and prostitution.

Naomi Cassidy

AFTER years at the hands of evil paedophile Ian Stallard, his victim has today told how her horrific experience led her into a life of drugs and prostitution.

Her brave decision to reveal her heartbreaking story comes after Stallard was finally brought to justice 13 years after the abuse first began.

Today, the mother-of-two from Ipswich said the four years Stallard is set to spend in prison for his crimes is not nearly long enough given the life sentence she has been dealt.

She was just 12 when his crimes began and now, aged 25, she is trying to get her life back on track and is receiving therapy after years of keeping silent about her terrible ordeal.

At Ipswich Crown Court, Stallard, a 64-year-old delivery driver from Bloomfield Street, Ipswich, was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault between 1995 and 1998 and four counts of gross indecency with a child between 1995 and 1998. He was found not guilty of one count of indecent assault between March 1995 and 1996.

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She was just a child when the abuse by Stallard, a family friend began, however she did not understand he was taking advantage until she went to counselling for drug abuse in her late teens. Even today, she finds it hard to talk about what went on.

She said: “I didn't like him like a boyfriend, but he was a friend and at the time I thought what I was doing with him made him happy. I felt I had to do it and felt guilty that it was my fault.

“Up until very recently I really believed he was just a silly old man that liked me, because that's what he makes you believe. Now I know he did it to others and was just that sort of person. I want everyone to know the truth about what he was like.

“I don't think four years is enough because it will affect me for a lot longer.”

In the months that followed the abuse her life began its downward spiral. She became withdrawn and lacked concentration at school and soon began self-harming by pulling her hair out.

At just 17 she became involved in prostitution through a massage parlour in Ipswich. She worked as a prostitute for two years, during which time she started taking drugs regularly, including crack cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines.

After years of professional help and the support of her family - and with the sentencing now behind her - she hopes her life will get back on track and is even planning to start a counselling course soon.

She said: “It is a real shame because I feel that I really could have done so much with my life. I wanted to be a nurse, but I never had the confidence after what happened.

“I know it has affected my parenting as I am so paranoid and overprotective with my children. I've also had lots of abusive relationships because I have always thought I wasn't good enough.”

Have you been in a similar situation? Tell us your story. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk