Brave victim speaks of sex abuse terror

Kevin Bagguley, of Buxton, who has been jailed for 22 years after being found guilty of a number of sexual offences. Photo contributed.
Kevin Bagguley, of Buxton, who has been jailed for 22 years after being found guilty of a number of sexual offences. Photo contributed.

A woman who was sexually abused as a child has bravely spoken out after the man responsible was jailed for 22 years.

Kevin Bagguley, 59, of Clifton Drive, Buxton, was sentenced at Derby Crown Court on Monday after being found guilty of 25 charges relating to two victims including indecent assault and rape. The charges relate to a period between 1991 and 1997.

And now one of his victims, who suffered abuse on a regular basis between the ages of 11 and 17, has bravely spoken to the Buxton Advertiser in the hope that it may encourage other people to speak out.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I can’t be ashamed. I know that it will take some years to convince me of that.

“But if more people speak out, maybe sexual abuse won’t be such a taboo subject because it’s a lot more rife than I ever thought.”

She added: “I don’t believe that I was his first victim, he knew exactly what he was doing.

“It escalated from wanting to buy me presents and take me out, to play fighting and touching me, making me feel uncomfortable, through to threats of violence if I didn’t comply with what he wanted.

“I just felt useless, and absolutely terrified. It was day in, day out - that’s all I can remember.”

On hearing he had been found guilty, she said: “It felt like a blow to the stomach, like I’d been winded. I was relieved but still shocked. I hadn’t focused on the sentence because all I wanted was for him to be found guilty, to know that people had listened and believed me.”

The abuse stopped when the woman was 17 but the effects of what Bagguley did remain.

“I find it difficult to trust people and find it difficult to show emotions,” she said. “It’s only now really that I can understand how that affects other people.”

Having lived with the horrific events of her childhood for nearly 20 years, the woman only had the bravery to come forward after reading a Buxton Advertiser article last August when two sisters who were sexually abused spoke out.

And now she hopes that her actions may help someone else in a similar position.

“Through reading that article, I found the confidence to come forward,” she said. “I’d really like this to make somebody else in that position think maybe they’ve got the guts to speak out. It was now or never for me.

“I kept thinking I will tell police one day but not now because I’m too busy with work, or it’s Christmas, or something else. I made some kind of excuse not to go through with it but if just one more person comes forward after seeing this, then that’s good enough for me.”

Detective Inspector Shaun McElheron said: “Derbyshire Constabulary takes reports of sexual offences seriously, regardless of how long ago they took place, and will investigate them thoroughly and bring those responsible to justice.

“Bagguley now has 22 years to reflect on what he has done and I hope this sentence goes some way towards helping the victims try to move on with their lives.”

Sally French, District Crown Prosecutor for the CPS East Midlands Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team, added: “Kevin Bagguley conducted a campaign of sexual abuse on these girls in the 1990s, exploiting their vulnerability in a cynical and shocking way.

“He has now faced the consequences of his actions thanks to the courage and persistence of his victims in coming forward and supporting the prosecution.

“It is no easy matter to report abuse of this nature, but as this case demonstrates, no matter how long ago abuse may have taken place, we will listen to you and take you seriously. I would like to thank the victims in this case for coming forward and giving evidence. They have shown that abusers like Kevin Bagguley have nowhere to hide and will face justice.”