Brave sex abuse survivor speaks out in court as her South Yorkshire attacker is jailed

Judge Sarah Wright jailed Russell Callear, who appeared via video link,for a total of 15-years for 10 sex offences during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.
Judge Sarah Wright jailed Russell Callear, who appeared via video link,for a total of 15-years for 10 sex offences during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.

'He may have taken my childhood, but he'll never take my heart or soul,' a courageous South Yorkshire woman said of her abuser as he was jailed for over a decade for the catalogue of sex offences he subjected her to.

Judge Sarah Wright jailed Russell Callear, who appeared via video link, for a total of 15-years for 10 sex offences during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.

Callear, 40, carried out the offences in Rotherham against a girl in the 1990s. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

The sex abuse survivor was not only present in court to see Callear finally being brought to justice, but the inspirational mum also read out a gut-wrenching account of the effect his abuse has had on every facet of her life.

She told the court: "Because of everything that happened I have flashbacks and nightmares and relive it. I can see it every night."

"I feel broken, and don't know how to be me because of all the flashbacks and fear and shame," she said, adding that the abuse had led to her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, to decades of self-harm and to multiple attempts to take her own life.

"He may have taken my childhood, my confidence, but he'll never take my heart or my soul," she added.

Judge Wright commended the woman's bravery, describing her victim impact statement as something that anyone who wants to understand the 'devastating' impact sexual abuse can have on a person's life should listen to.

"She has shown exceptional courage in speaking about these matters in evidence during the trial which she found deeply humiliating to have to recall in a public court," said Judge Wright, adding: "She has suffered enormous psychological harm at your hands."

Callear, of no fixed abode, was found unanimously guilty of four counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault and three counts of indecency following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

He would have been a teenager at the time of his offending, the court heard.

As she sent him to begin his sentence, Judge Wright told Callear: "You have shown no remorse, in contrast to the bravery of your victim, you have sought to minimise and deflect blame. You have sought to blame your victim."

Defending, Dermot Hughes, told the court that while he did not wish to distress the complainant in the case, he asserted that not all of her problems could be attributed to Callear's abuse, because of a significant personal trauma she had experienced prior to his offending.

But this line of mitigation was rejected by Judge Wright, who said that this would have made her 'even more vulnerable' when Callear carried out the abuse.

In addition to his custodial sentence, Callear was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.

If you believe a child is being abused or neglected you can call Rotherham social services on: 01709 336080. To contact them concerning cases involving adults, ring: 01709 822330.

If the person is not in immediate danger, but you believe a crime may have been committed, you can also call South Yorkshire Police on 101.