DAVID Maddison was so traumatised by the sexual abuse inflicted upon him by a neighbour when he was just 11 years old, that it took him until well into his 20s to report his attacker to the police.

But now, with that attacker – 44-year-old Grethe Tozer, formerly of Cwmbran – behind bars, Mr Maddison has waived his right to anonymity to tell the story of the damage she inflicted on him, and how he has struggled to keep going.

“I was molested for months and months by her,” said the now 28-year-old, who lives in Greenmeadow, Cwmbran.

“She had been my neighbour and that is when I started to get molested and groomed.

“She was 28 and I was 11.

“I have a lot of mental health issues now and they are tough to face. I still have nightmares of what she did to me. It was sickening.”

“At the time I did not think it was wrong. She groomed me.”

The emotional fall-out from Mr Maddison’s months of abuse at Tozer’s hands has been profound and continues to this day. Vulnerable and alone, Mr Maddison was subsequently reduced to living on the streets for eight years.

The situation became so dire he revealed he had considered committing suicide.

“I would sleep in empty garages and woodlands,” he said.

He said: “I did think of ending everything at times. But I thought it would only put my problems onto someone else, so I didn’t.”

Gradually, Mr Maddison became determined to pull his life back together and used all his strength to achieve this. But it was only after he became a father to two children that he finally became persuaded to report the historical abuse to police.

“I had managed to get a house and had a family,” he said.

“I decided to go to the police because I knew someone cannot get away with what she did.

“When I looked at my children, I felt so angry that it could happen again to anyone their age. I knew that I had to stop that from happening.”

Tozer, of Cortis Road, Wandsworth, London, was jailed last week for three years and nine months having pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and three charges of indecency with a child the day before she was due to stand trial.

By speaking about his life, Mr Maddison hopes other victims will both be encouraged to report crimes to police and “not give up on their dreams”.

He has since established what is believed to be Gwent’s first Cannabidiol (CBD) business, called Goodhemp, which has proven extremely popular.

“I want to show people that no matter how much you struggle - and I wake up some days thinking I wish I wasn’t here - that you can get somewhere in life,” he said.

“You must not give up on life or your dreams.

“Every single day will be a struggle for me. But you need to not allow the past to play on your mind.

“If you have been abused, do not be afraid of reporting it. You are not in the wrong and the culprit needs to be brought to justice before it happens to other children and puts them in the same situation as us.

“Despite it all, I have now gone on to set up a business.”