Cleared man vows to rebuild life

A MAN who spent months at the centre of sex abuse charges today vowed to rebuild his life.Richard Catchpool, 40, was cleared of six sex offences against young girls after his trial.

A MAN who spent months at the centre of sex abuse charges today vowed to rebuild his life.

Richard Catchpool, 40, was cleared of six sex offences against young girls after his trial.

Mr Catchpool, of Thackeray Road, Ipswich, had been facing four charges of indecent assault on a female under 16 years old, two charges of attempted indecent assault and one charge of attempting to commit an act of gross indecency with a child.

But a jury at Ipswich Crown Court found him not guilty of all the charges - ending a 15-month nightmare for him and his family.


You may also want to watch:


Mr Catchpool and his wife Carolyn, who at his trial was said to have provided a smoke screen for her husband, have said they can now start to look to the future.

"We will rebuild our lives, and we will rebuild them stronger," said Mrs Catchpool, 39.

Most Read

"Without our family and friends we would be broken people now, they have all been so supportive.

"We will come through this together."

A father-of-two, Mr Catchpool said it will take him time to get over his ordeal and he still feels nervous about leaving the house and panics whenever he sees teenage girls.

"I went to the supermarket on Saturday and I got back in the car and just felt sick.

"You see all these groups walking about together and you worry that if you just brush past someone they can say you assaulted them.

"I'm so much more careful now, I wouldn't go within a metre of a girl on the street."

Mr Catchpool said the trauma of the court case had left him feeling paranoid and worried it will haunt him.

"It has made me anxious just about answering the phone. I know I'm feeling like this now but I know that things will get better as time progresses."

The couple have also said the case has highlighted how important it is that children are given support and Mrs Catchpool said she now wants to raise money for children's charities such as the NSPCC and Childline.

"I want to tell young children who are abused to go and report it - they should always let someone know.

"If they needed me to knock on every door on the Whitton estate for money I would do it. I would face every mother on the estate just to prove my husband is innocent."

The couple have lived in their home since 1986 but have now asked the council to rehouse them to help them start their lives again and leave behind painful memories.

Mr Catchpool said: "I can't really go out at the moment, it won't be until I feel that I can go out and get on with my life that I will know I am getting over this."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter