Suffolk: Victim speaks out and says ‘I won’t let paedophile stepfather ruin my life’

HOW I brought my paedophile stepfather to justice

DISPLAYING strength of character beyond her years, Danii Wiblin today courageously waived her right to anonymity to tell how she brought her paedophile stepfather to justice.

The 17-year-old took the unusual decision in the hope of inspiring other sexually abused children to come forward, and to show the guilt and shame lay with the perpetrator, not their victim.

Danii, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, was assaulted by Alan Harrison for more than five years until finally finding the resolve to report him to police in January this year.

As a consequence Harrison, a sergeant in the RAF, was jailed for 12 years after admitting 11 child sex offences.

You may also want to watch:

The abuse began when the serviceman was stationed in Oxfordshire, before being posted to RAF Honington in west Suffolk.

Danii said: “I will never regret going to the police.

Most Read

“I needed to start living my life how I wanted to live it. I didn’t even feel like I had a childhood.

“It was taken away from me when I was 11-and-a-half. I feel I was robbed of my innocence.

“I thought it was about time to live the remainder of my life and not let it be ruined by him.

“At one point when I was younger I turned to drink and drugs – you name it I did it. I started at about 12 years old. I was smoking at 11.

“I came forward once before. I was 13. It seemed no-one believed me. I felt so alone that I dropped the allegations.”

After Danii went to Suffolk police earlier this year, Harrison attempted to stop her revealing the awful truth for a second time.

She said: “He was texting me while I was giving my (police) interview.”

Danii is full of praise for the officers who dealt with her case, particularly Pc Lindsay Poole, of Suffolk’s child protection team.

“I didn’t’ think she was going to believe what I was saying, but she couldn’t tell me enough that she believed me.”

“Then Detective Inspector Adrian Randall came into the room and said ‘I believe you – we all believe you’.

“The pain went. It had gone for that split second, because I was believed. It felt like I wasn’t alone, after all those years of feeling alone.

“I felt worse speaking out at first. The worst bit was the first time I went to the police station to make the allegations, but it got a lot easier as time went on.

“I got a little better, felt healthier and ate more. Then I went downhill, and started to feel guilty.

“How I managed to deal with things was to write notes to myself about my feelings.

“After a while I stopped that and was suicidal. I did a lot of things to hurt myself.

“That was the wake-up call I needed.

“I put all the blame - and any thought that it was my fault, on to him and it got me through it.

“I said on (my police) video that despite how much I hate him, I don’t really hate him. I hate what he has done to me.”

As the months went on the legacy of the abuse continued with Danii enduring some dark moments.

She said: “I used to have really bad nightmares and couldn’t sleep very well. I used to scream my eyes out. I was on anti-depressants.

“I had counselling throughout the case, and then my mental state started to pick up after about three months.”

“I have a future now. I feel my future is a lot brighter that I ever thought it would be. If it wasn’t for Lindsay Poole and the people around me I don’t’ think I would be here now.

“But I have got everything now, and I’m starting from scratch.”

Danii said she would eventually like to help other victims of abuse.

“I would like to start a charity, not just for sexual abuse, but for all abuse, so people have someone they can go to so they can speak about what is happening to them, and you can put them on the right path to the people they need to speak to in order to help.

“I didn’t feel I had anyone to talk to, and that there was not a lot out there for people who have been sexually abused.”

Asked what advice Danii would give to other children suffering abuse, she said: “Don’t let your fear hold you back, because it was my fear that held me back.

“At the time I had thought I was alone and no one else was going through the same thing. But if I can do it, others can do it.

“I would beg people – please don’t be afraid to speak out.”

DANII Wiblin will never forget what Alan Harrison did to her.

However, the teenager refuses to dwell on the past or acknowledge his existence.

Danii said: “I feel disgusted at what he did, but I don’t have any feelings towards him.

“As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t exist, and he will never exist to me.”

Harrison was sentenced to 12 years in jail this month after admitting raping Danii nine times and making indecent images of them.

Ipswich Crown Court heard Harrison, of RAF Honington, west Suffolk, was obsessed with Danii.

The 44-year-old would sometimes ply her with alcohol, and give her �5 along with 20 cigarettes each time he abused her.

Sentencing Harrison, Judge David Goodin said: “You committed offences of unimaginable gravity in abusing her as you did repeatedly, sustainedly and systematically.

“It would be difficult, in my judgment, to imagine more serious offences against a little girl.”

Referring to the indecent images, Judge Goodin called them “an outrageous indignity for a little girl to deal with”.

Charles Myatt, representing Harrison, said: “Any expression of the significant pain and suffering he has caused to [the victim] can only sound hollow and trite, but I ask Your Honour to accept those expressions are present.”

In addition to rape and indecent images, Harrison had also pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault by penetration.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter