“I may be a victim but more importantly I am a survivor.” – brave woman faces her abuser in court as he is sentenced to 10 years in prison
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A woman who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a Kettering man bravely faced him in court last week as he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
John Gardner, 46, thought he had gotten away with the five years of abuse which started when the woman was just seven-years-old, but in May 2020, she bravely came forward and told police.
Gardner was arrested and initially tried to deny the offences when questioned, but at a subsequent court hearing he pleaded guilty.
Bravely reading a statement out at court, the woman described how the abuse has affected her: “I can sometimes flinch when a man touches or embraces me.
“What I have gone through has completely affected my mental health, wellbeing and overall my sense of security.
“I can never forgive or forget what he put me through and what he did to me.
“I would like to read this statement out myself because I would like people to know in my voice how I am feeling.
“I may be a victim but more importantly I am a survivor.”
On Wednesday, January 19, Gardner was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus a further two years on licence.
Lead Investigator, DC Lyn Townsend, said: “I am really pleased to see John Gardner get sent down for this significant period of time.
“This young woman has shown incredible bravery in being able to come forward after nearly a decade and I was really proud watching her read her statement out at court.
“She has suffered tremendously as a result of this man’s actions and she is stronger than she knows.
“I hope the conclusion of this case brings her some closure and the knowledge that, because of her, Gardner is unable to harm anyone else.
“This result reminds me why our job as detectives is so important – making sure survivors of crime are listened to and feel listened to, fighting crime, protecting people, and putting people like John Gardner where they belong - behind bars.”
Northamptonshire Police takes reports of sexual assault very seriously and will always treat reports of this nature with the confidentiality and sensitivity they deserve.
We will believe you.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault, whether recent or non-recent, please come forward and call us on 101 or use our online reporting tool at www.northants.pnn.police.uk