Leeds woman suffered abuse and neglect at hands of her own parents

Joseph Joyce pictured outside court in January 2011. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Joseph Joyce pictured outside court in January 2011. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Paula Bairstow was sexually abused for 11 years by her father while her mother ignored her cries for help.

Details of the treatment she suffered at the hands of her parents first came to light when they stood trial six years ago.

Paula Bairstow has urged officials not to release her father from prison early. Picture: Mark Bickerdike

Paula Bairstow has urged officials not to release her father from prison early. Picture: Mark Bickerdike

Back in 2011, jurors found Joseph Joyce, then 67, guilty of two offences of rape and five other indecency charges against Paula.

He was also found guilty of five indecency charges relating to two other female victims.

Now he has applied to be released from prison early – something his daughter is urging the authorities to prevent.

The trial heard how Joyce began abusing Paula at the family’s home in Whitkirk when she was just four years old.

He later told his daughter that he wanted to marry her in Africa and made her promise him her virginity when she turned 16.

Paula was a teenager when her mother, Pauline Bennett, and Joyce divorced.

But despite moving with her mother to a new home on Kendal Drive in Halton Moor, the abuse continued at Joyce’s betting shop or when he visited Paula at home at weekends.

Paula was 13 when she finally told her mother about what had been going on, despite suspecting she already knew.

Her mother did nothing though and the abuse continued until Paula entered a relationship with her first boyfriend at the age of 15 .

Paula reported the offences to police in May 2009, leading to the trial in 2011.

Joyce, of Harefield West, Leeds, was jailed for 12 years.

Bennett, then 68, of Greystone Mount, Halton Moor, received a four-year sentence for child neglect and indecent assault of a 15-year-old boy.

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