Suffolk: Mum of sexually assaulted 10-year-old praises police

The mother of a 10-year-old girl sexually assaulted by a BT worker today praised the police investigation and told of her determination to be there for her daughter.

Kevin O’Neill was jailed on Tuesday after trying to pull down the girl’s clothing.

O’Neill, of Foundry Lane, Ipswich, was also found with indecent images of young girls on his home computer.

But the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, refuses to hate the 52-year-old.

She said: “I am angry at him, but the energy of hating him is better served helping my daughter to take her forward and give her the extra support that she needs.

“It would be lowering to his level and it would not serve any purpose. Hating people and fighting does not get you any further forward.

“I’m just really grateful to the police, their tenacity and professionalism and sheer hard work in bringing this case to a conclusion.

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“Especially when it started out as one little girl’s word against someone else’s.”

The woman said she was extra protective over her daughter in light of what had happened.

“In some ways, she’s having to suffer because of what he did to her,” she added.

“The impact of this on parents is to make you extra protective and anxious the whole time.

“Your job description is to protect your kids and to fail so spectacularly makes you become more sensitive and protective.”

The incident happened last December around the same time murdered Bristol landscape architect Joanna Yeates had gone missing.

The mother said: “At least my little girl came home and could tell me about it.

“It sounds bad to be positive, but one thing that keeps people going through tragedy is realising there are always other people worse off.

“I’m not taking away how bad the assault was, but I could have been Milly Dowler’s mum.”