The victim of a paedophile who abused children as young as five over a 26-year period said her attacker “is not human”.
Brian Fawcett, 66, was jailed for 20 years at Leeds Crown Court after a complex police investigation into historic crimes dating back to 1975.
Stacey Foster, from Morley in Leeds, has waived her right to anonymity to speak about the impact of the crimes on her life and to encourage other victims to come forward.
The 29-year-old was a teenager when Fawcett molested and raped her at his home in Drighlington.
She said: “He’s soulless, he has no conscience. He doesn’t care who or what he hurts.
“He’s so cold, it’s as if he’s not human. I don’t know how people can do the things he does and not feel anything. He used to sit there and laugh, he’s just evil through and through.”
Ms Foster, who now lives in South Wales, met Fawcett, of Fairfax Avenue, through a boyfriend when she was 15.
She said he began by making lewd comments, but quickly progressed to physical attacks. On one occasion he assaulted her in his garden.
“It got to a point where he had this hold over me. He told me that if I ever spoke out about it he wouldn’t go for me – he would go for the ones I love.”
Having moved away from Leeds, she reported her abuse to police after finding out that other victims had come forward.
Fawcett was found guilty after trial of 26 offences including buggery, rape and indecent assault on four children aged five to 17 between 1975 and 2001. He was also convicted of indecent assault against a 25-year-old woman.
Ms Foster, a full-time mother of four, said her life had been “a complete mess” in the years since her abuse.
She is hoping to move on now that Fawcett is behind bars.
“I’m waiting for the healing process now. There’s a lot of years to make up,” she said.
“I’ve spent all these years, every day thinking about him and what if I saw him again. Now that he’s gone, there’s this big empty space in my head that I don’t know what to do with.
“I’m having to retrain my thoughts.
“I used to wake up screaming or sweating from having nightmares, It sounds strange to say, but I’ve been having normal dreams for the first time.”
She has never met the others who came forward, but expressed her gratitude to them for reporting their abuse.
She added: “I know there are others out there who haven’t come forward and I think they should. If there’s one thing I could say to them it would be that it’s over now and hopefully we can now start to rebuild our lives.”
Det Insp Lawrence Bone, of Leeds District Child Safeguarding Unit, said the successful prosecution of Fawcett should encourage other victims.
He said: “Fawcett was responsible for a sustained pattern of sexual abuse against vulnerable young children over a number of years.
“The significant sentence he has received reflects the seriousness with which offences of this nature are treated by the courts.
“We hope the fact he has now had to answer for his crimes will provide some degree of comfort to his victims. This was a lengthy and complex investigation which required a very sensitive approach from specialist safeguarding officers. I hope it will help to encourage any other victims of similar offences to come forward.”