Sex abuse victim washed her mouth out with bleach following attacks
A court heard that a sex abuse victim bathed in bleach when she was 14 (Photo by: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images)

A sex attack victim has revealed that she washed her mouth out with bleach after being abused as a young girl.

Speaking as Derek Lemmon, 84, was finally jailed for his crimes, the victim kept what had happened secret for nearly 30 years.

She was just 10 years old when she was first attacked, but at the age of 14 after being forced to perform an act on Lemmon she bathed in bleach to try and feel clean.

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He systematically groomed her in the 90s, Portsmouth Crown Court was told, with the pensioner manipulating situations so that he ended up on his own with the victim.

Prosecutor Simon Foster said: ‘He controlled, manipulated, and indeed conditioned his victim so that sexual activity between the two of them became effectively the norm for her.

‘I describe this as systematic sexual grooming.’

Mr Foster said the abuse was repeated over a period of years.

Lemmon, from Portsmouth, admitted eight counts of indecent assault.

Two of those charges would have been classed as rape offences, but judge Susan Evans said guidelines state that offenders must be charged and sentenced according to the law at the time of the offence.

Reading from the victim’s personal statement, Mr Foster said: ‘She describes herself as ‘never having the chance to be me’.

‘I dreamed for a long time of the day I’d no longer have to be scared for myself and others.’

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Judge Evans QC, jailing Lemmon, said his victim was forced to keep a ‘terrible secret’.

She said: ‘You controlled and manipulated her and created opportunities to be alone with her.

‘She was forced to keep a terrible secret for many years, terrified of its revelation and what may follow.

‘She even bathed in bleach to try and feel clean after your disgusting abuse of her.’

Lemmon, who can only walk a few yards and is hard of hearing was jailed for 12 years and six months in custody, with a year’s extended licence.

The court heard he will most likely die in prison as he has terminal cancer that has spread from his lung.

The judge said: ‘You will serve half of that custodial term in prison. You will then be released if you live that long.’

Damian Hayes, for Lemmon, said his client would never again see his wife, who is in a nursing home.

Speaking after the hearing, the woman said: ‘He’s a vile man. I feel like justice has been done.’