Sex attacker starts long sentence

A SEX attacker who raped and assaulted girls over a period of 19 years today begins a 13-year prison sentence.James Small, of Mildmay Road in east Ipswich, was yesterday found guilty of sexually assaulting the girls, now in their 30s and 40s, between 1969 and 1988.

A SEX attacker who raped and assaulted girls over a period of 19 years today begins a 13-year prison sentence.

James Small, of Mildmay Road in east Ipswich, was yesterday found guilty of sexually assaulting the girls, now in their 30s and 40s, between 1969 and 1988.

Sentencing at Norwich Crown Court, Judge Paul Downes also ordered Small onto the sex offenders register for life.

The judge said: “Over a considerable time you helped yourself to whatever was available and what you made available is these very young children.


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“That developed until in two of the girls' cases it progressed to rape and they were forceful rapes and unpleasant, and on some occasions painful, events for young children.

“That was coupled with threats against them which must have frightened them considerably.”

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The court heard how 64-year-old Small, who denied the 12 charges of indecent assault and four charges of rape, threatened each of the girls after the attacks and said if they did not put up with the abuse he would make other children suffer.

One of the women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the attacks happened every opportunity Small got. The 45-year-old said Small said “either you do it or the others do”.

The other victims are now 44 and 33 but all the attacks happened in Ipswich while they were aged between seven and in their teens.

The youngest said she had to have an abortion after one of the occasions Small raped her.

She came forward to police after having to persuade another youngster to talk about a similar incident, leaving her feeling like a hypocrite.

It was around this time the woman learned each of them had also been Small's victims.

Small, who has four children from two marriages, was planning to emigrate to Barbados, where he was born, next year. He was due to retire after 40 years of work at Cranes in Ipswich.

His solicitor Tara McCarthy asked the judge to keep the jail sentence short, saying Small was no longer a risk.

Judge Downes said: “Three children were abused from an early age, culminating in rape, and the court has to take a serious view.”

He told Small: “I bear in mind you are now 64, a man of no previous convictions and that these matters occurred a long time ago.

“However, the fact it was a long time ago is no credit to you, it's that the young ladies were unable to talk about it.”

Small, who was arrested in September last year, has also been disqualified for life from working with children.

FOR one of James Small's victims, success was not about getting him put behind bars - it was about making him face up to what he did.

Talking to The Evening Star after the court case, the 44-year-old said she did not care how long the prison sentence was.

She said: “It was not about him going to prison. I just wanted to make him face up to what he did and to let other people know what he did and what kind of man he is.

“Really, the length of the sentence did not matter because he took away our lives and no prison sentence could ever make up for that.”

Small's last attack on the woman was when she was 18. She rebuilt her life, marrying twice and having two daughters, and had not kept the abuse a secret from her partner.

However, she says the rape and assaults she went through have had a lasting affect on her life.

She said: “I lost a lot of respect for myself. At the time I felt dirty and that I wasn't worth anything.

“Now, I worry more than usual about who my children mix with, what adults they see and I have phobias about who they have as boyfriends.

“I also hate having my throat touched because he grabbed me there during one of the attacks. I wear a lot of high-neck tops so people can't get to my neck.

“Having said that, I've been determined not to let him ruin my life so I've tried to dismiss a lot.”

The woman, who still lives in Ipswich, only found out about the other victims in 2002.

She said: “Finding out it had happened to them too was one of the worst things.

“One of my biggest feelings now is relief, knowing no one else will go through what we have from him.

“I was shocked at the length of the sentence. I think it's fair but I wasn't expecting him to get so long.”

“The hardest bit of the court case was watching the video of my police interview. It was awful watching myself burst into tears and remembering the emotions I was going through as I told the story.

“I tried not to let him affect me in the court room. I just think of him now as a nasty little man.”

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