Express & Star

'It took me years to report my abuser to the police - I hope his jailing can inspire other victims'

The victim of a sex attacker who preyed on children in the 1980s has told the Express & Star how he found the courage to report what happened to him decades after being sexually abused as a nine-year-old.

Frank Burton abused three young boys

Frank Burton, 57, was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison on Thursday at Stafford Crown Court for three counts of sexually abusing boys aged nine or ten when he was himself a young man.

Burton was finally brought to justice thanks to the bravery of one of the boys who decided it was time to tell his story to the police in 2021. His evidence led detectives to two other victims who also had the courage to give evidence about what Burton had done to them.

All three were prepared to take the stand and reveal their most innermost thoughts during a crown court trial but on the day it was to start, Burton pleaded guilty to three counts of sexually abusing a child.

Now in his 40s, the first victim who reported Burton to the police told the Express & Star what prompted him to give evidence and the toll it has taken on him and his family.

He said: "I wanted Frank Burton to face justice. After I reported him, two other men, who I do not know and have never met, also decided to give evidence.

"Though it took me years to finally speak out loud about what happened to me, I hope other victims of sexual abuse will see how positive it can be to finally report their abuser.

"The trauma of sexual abuse victims lasts decades. Some keep it to themselves forever, and it affects relationships - one of the other victims said he had got divorced because of what happened."

The abuse happened in Wolverhampton, but he has since moved to Staffordshire, married and became a father then a grandfather.

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