Pontypool woman tells of years of sex abuse from uncle
9:28am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Pontypool news
A YOUNG woman from Pontypool has spoken out about the uncle who groomed and sexually abused her when she was just 15 – while her father was in court for raping her sister.
Brave 21-year-old Lisa Allen has waived her right to anonymity to speak out against her uncle, Dale Allen, who went to prison last week for sexually abusing her.
Allen, 34, of Brynheulog Terrace, Brynithel, in Abertillery, pleaded guilty on August 28 this year at Newport Crown Court to two counts of sexual activity with a female child family member aged 13-17. He was sentenced on September 16 to 16 months’ imprisonment and ten years on the sex offenders’ register.
But Miss Allen believes this is not long enough for the man who ruined her life when she was at her most vulnerable.
Miss Allen said: “Before him, I would never hold hands with a boy, never even kissed a boy. He was my first kiss. And I have to live the rest of my life knowing that.”
Miss Allen had moved to the house Allen shared with her grandparents in August 2007 when she was 15, after it was revealed that her father, Norman Saunders, had raped Miss Allen’s half-sister, Cayleigh Saunders.
Back in 2007 Miss Allen’s half-sister Cayleigh Saunders also waived her right to anonymity to speak to the Argus about the crimes perpetrated by Saunders.
Saunders was jailed for a total of 14 years in October 2007 after admitting a string of rape and child sex image offences.
Miss Allen’s mother, Tracy Twose, 48, sent her and her brother to stay with their grandparents in Abertillery while the family struggled to deal with the situation.
Soon after her arrival at the house in Abertillery Allen began grooming his niece, plying her with cannabis and buying her tickets to gigs before he began sexually abusing her in January 2007, and continuing to sexually abuse her on an almost daily basis until around her 18th birthday.
She said: “He didn’t treat me like a niece. He treated me like a girlfriend. He couldn’t even bring himself to describe me as his niece. He wouldn’t say it. Every day he would make me do something, even if it was just a kiss. It was constant.
“He wrapped me around his little finger. He came between me and my brother. He even stopped me from seeing my partner when we first started meeting up.”
Miss Allen didn’t tell Chris Williams, her partner of two and a half years, about the abuse until April this year.
“I was scared he would leave me, that he would blame me,” she said. “I thought he wouldn’t want anything to do with me if I told him. But when I did eventually tell him, it was like this massive weight had been taken off my shoulders.
“I didn’t have to watch what I said anymore, or keep this dark secret to myself. It was out in the open.”
After telling her partner, Ms Allen told her mother, and they both urged her to go to the police, which she did on May 2.
Ms Twose said: “I will never forgive my brother for what he has done. I sent her there thinking she would be safe. She was 15, she was vulnerable, and he took advantage of that.
“He wrapped her around his little finger, just like he did with the rest of the family. She had already been through so much – all she has known is abuse – physical, sexual, and emotional. I trusted my family to look after her, and they didn’t.”
Miss Allen added: “One day we were there and I said to him, ‘This is wrong – this is what my dad did to Cayleigh’.And he just blew up, he was shouting at me, saying, ‘No it’s not. It’s nothing like that’. After that I was scared to say anything to him.”
Miss Allen added that since the abuse came out she has had to move from her home in Abertillery to Pontypool, and she does not see or speak to the rest of her family.
She said: “I only have my partner and my mum now, really.”
She says she feels let down by the justice system because of the brevity of his sentence.
She said: “The police said they thought he would get four years. But he got 16 months – eight, really – and it looks as though there was nothing in it, like what he did to me doesn’t really matter. The justice system has really let me down.”
An officer from Gwent Police who was involved in the case praised Miss Allen’s bravery.
DC Kay Gladwin said: “I would like to praise the victim in this case for the bravery she has shown by coming forward and speaking to police.
“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of crime, irrespective of how long ago it may have been, to contact police. We have specially trained officers here, ready to listen and offer appropriate support.”
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