Three victims of sexual abuse speak out after man jailed for 27 years
Crime / Sat 14th Jan 2023 am31 07:27am
THREE victims of sexual abuse have bravely released statements after a man has been jailed for 27 years today.
Kevin Smith, 57 of Kimpton Close, Ongar appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today where he was sentenced to 27 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple sexual offences against young girls. He will also serve a further five years on licence.
An investigation into Smith began last year when multiple victims came forward to report that they were abused over years ago. The investigation was led by Essex Police’s Quest team. They are responsible for investigating non-recent child sex abuse cases, whereby the victim is now an adult.
Smith was arrested, charged and following a two-week trial which concluded yesterday (12 January) he was found guilty of nine counts of rape against a child under 14 and four counts of indecent assault.
On the day of his sentencing the victims in this investigation have bravely spoken about their experiences of this investigation and have thanked Essex Police for the support they have received.
One victim has spoken of the support she received from Essex Police and our partner agencies:
“It’s taken me a lot of time and strength to speak about this, but today’s result has made me feel strong enough to do so.
Kevin Smith abused me when I was just a vulnerable child. For years I dealt with the trauma it gave me. I have spent years thinking that all men are dirt and being angry about what I was put through.
When I spoke up, I was going through a lot of other things in my personal life and I had strong doubts as to whether adding a court case would just completely break me.
I remember sitting in the room giving my statement and feeling like I was going to be sick when I would hear all the details again. I’m not going to lie and say the process was easy but DC Emily Monk took the right approach with me and was an incredible support. I had contact with her almost every day, with her just checking in and also updating me on the case and the steps I needed to take next.
I also instantly was referred to SERICC who gave me a phenomenal amount of support from their dedicated ISVA. Having people who were being consistently supportive meant the world and has helped build up my trust again. I cannot thank them all enough.
If I could shout from the rooftops and tell victims not to be afraid I would! If I could sit in the room with someone who went through similar things to me, I would tell them that no one is going to blame you and I’d encourage them to take their power back.
What happened has drained me, but I hope talking about it helps another victim just like me.”
Another victim has thanked DC Monk for the compassion she received:
“Firstly, I would like to thank Essex Police, especially DC Emily Monk for everything she has done for me during this very emotional and difficult time. The support that has been given has been amazing. Thank you Emily. You have been amazing from start to finish and a truly caring, compassionate woman.
“I found the strength to come forward because of certain person I trust said I think you need to inform the police, So I did and here we are now. I am very grateful for that person and has been a great support for me.
I am sickened to now hear it wasn’t just me that was a victim, and I just want to say a massive well done to those victims who found the strength and courage to go ahead with it all too.
As for Kevin Smith he is a very dangerous manipulative child sex abuser, who took advantage of very young vulnerable girls for his own sick gratification. He can no longer hurt anyone ever again.
For anyone thinking of coming forward as a victim of sexual abuse, I recommend you do as you are treated with compassion from start to finish. I was terrified of having to go through every detail of abuse that happened to me but the support I received made it all worth it, because now he is behind bars where he belongs. So please don’t fear coming forward, the police are here for you.
Another victim has described how different the police investigation was to her expectations:
“I became a victim when I was just a child and since then my life will never be the same but Kevin Smith’s actions do not define me.
I found the strength to report last year after dealing with this for many years. I had spent that whole time pushing what happened to me to the back of my head, like it was in a box I would never open.
When I did report, the police investigation was nothing like I thought it would be. I remember walking into the room to give my statement, looking at the camera set up and feeling so scared. But the minute I started talking to DC Emily Monk, what happened to me just came flooding out. She made me feel so comfortable, strong and ready to deal with what was ahead.
The whole process did go slightly quiet after that, which is normal but the lead up to court just flew. When I walked into court to give my evidence, I felt sick but I almost got a sense of power from the adrenaline I had.
What happened to me is unfortunately with me for life. It changed my opinions on men and my childhood. I used to not be able to go to my friend’s houses if there was a man there, I would be terrified. What I want to do now, is to help others. If there is anyone out there who hasn’t found the strength to come forward yet, that’s okay but please know that you will be supported when you do. You may think that this hasn’t affected your life and you’re blocking it out just like I did, but it has. You will be believed and you will be taken seriously.
I feel like I’ve got justice today and the actions of myself and the other victims have taken a dangerous man off the streets.”
Investigating Officer, Detective Constable Emily Monk said: “Kevin Smith is a cruel man who has preyed on vulnerable young girls. He does not recognise the seriousness of his actions, even when stood in front of a jury trying to defend himself, he thought it was appropriate to crack jokes. His actions have damaged these women in ways they will never forget and continues to impact them now.
“I commend them on their courage to come forward, to speak to police and give evidence in this case. I hope it demonstrates to other victims of similar offences that we do investigate non-recent sexual offences, they will be supported and they can result in successful prosecutions.”
Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex. The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:
Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.
For more information about how to get support, visit their website: Sexual violence support and advice Essex (synergyessex.org.uk)