Victims speak out over child abuse spanning decades

ACCUSED David Kendrick
ACCUSED David Kendrick
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AN RAF veteran has appeared in court charged with a string of child sex offences going back to 1953.

David Kendrick is accused of abusing eight women when they were under the age of 16 – with one victim as young as two years old.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how the 81-year-old, who was in the RAF for 18 years and later became a bus driver and milkman, paid for his victim’s silence by offering sweets and money.

But a major police investigation was launched when one of his victims walked into Chichester police station and reported the alleged crimes in 2011.

Kendrick, from Havant, has admitted indecently assaulting five of the victims.

But he has pleaded not guilty to 27 counts of sexual offences, including the specific details of each indecent assault and an alleged attempted rape.

The jury heard Kendrick would abuse victims in his car or in the woods, among other places.

The alleged offences happened in the Portsmouth and Purbrook areas.

The offences started in 1953 and went on until the late 1990s, the court heard.

One victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court: ‘If you did not know what was going on behind closed doors, you would think he was a lovely nice, charming man.

‘He would never make a mistake to slip himself up. He was switched on and he knew what to say when.’

She said that Kendrick made her promise her virginity to him.

She told the court she was ‘angry’, adding: ‘It makes me feel sick sometimes.’

The court heard how Kendrick would get his victims to pose for pictures and read them adult magazines.

Kendrick’s hobby was woodwork and the court was told he made sex toys out of wood.

The abuse would go on for several years on the same victim, the court was told.

He had told his victims that ‘only special people do this’, the jury heard.

The victim said: ‘To him it was normal and consensual.

‘I don’t know how his brain works but it was not.’

She said the abuse affected her relationships now.

Robert Bryan, prosecuting, said victims had not reported the abuse for so long through fear.

He said: ‘The defendant took opportunities that were offered to him.

‘If a girl was on their own, he would grab the opportunity to abuse her.’

Kendrick, a widower of Bedhampton Way, shook his head as the evidence was heard.

(Proceeding)