A WOMAN who lived with being the victim of a sexual assault for 20 years before going to the police has finally seen her attacker jailed.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spiralled out of control after the attack.
Unable to cope with what had happened to her in her early teens she turned to drugs and spent years tackling her addiction.
But, having slowly pieced her life back together the woman, who is now in her 30s, knew the final thing she needed to do was see her abuser brought to justice.
Ian Tucker denied having ever touched her, but a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault.
The 52-year-old married father-of-three is today waking up in a prison cell at the start of a nine-month sentence.
Jailing him, Recorder Nicholas Haggan QC said: ‘The degree of harm to the victim was significant.
‘She was young, she was vulnerable. She was deeply upset.
‘She felt ashamed and felt unable to tell her mother. To use her own words, she felt numb.
‘It’s quite plain from the contents of her victim impact statement that these events blighted her life.
‘It was only in October 2010 that she felt strong enough to make a complaint to the police.’
He added: ‘In my view these offences are so serious that the only proper sentence is one of imprisonment.’
The woman was assaulted one night in October 1990, in Gosport.
Unemployed Tucker moved away from the area some time after the assault to Shirley Road, in Southampton.
Roderick James, defending, said that despite the verdicts of the jury, Tucker still refused to admit what he had done.
He said: ‘It’s fair to characterise what Mr Tucker did as a moment of madness and literally a moment – it was very brief and isolated in character.
‘In many cases of this sort there has been behaviour leading up to it, grooming.
‘There was no suggestion in the trial that Mr Tucker had done anything like that.
‘There was no build up to this.
‘There were no threats or blackmail after it.’
He added: ‘She has now been vindicated by the trial process. The system has proved her right, although Mr Tucker would disagree with that.
‘That will enable her to move on.’
Tucker will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register and was banned from working with children.