A TEENAGER who suffered in silence as her stepfather raped and abused her for more than four years has bravely told of her ordeal.
Courtney Oldland from Southsea, now 18, was repeatedly raped and assaulted from the age of 11 by Johnathon Oldland – a man who became her ‘father figure’ after her mother began a relationship with him when she was a baby.
The horrific campaign of abuse she faced only ended when her mother caught Oldland, 36, of Hilsea Market, Hilsea, pulling his trousers up after he had raped her in the family home.
Courtney then went to a police station herself on the way to school to report his crimes – before officers arrested him at work, where they caught him with a bag of used condoms that matched the pair’s DNA.
As previously reported, Oldland was jailed in March 2017 for 17 years after a jury at Portsmouth Crown Court found him guilty of five charges of rape, two sex assaults and one count of sexual activity with a child.
Courtney, who has given her permission to be named in The News, said his vile crimes all began when her mother began working evening shifts at a local newsagents – meaning he was ‘in charge’ at home for the night.
‘At first, I used to look forward to her going off to work. Dad would let me watch films and stay up late before finally padding off to bed,’ she said.
‘But as I got older he became strict and controlling.
‘“Don’t be late,” dad snapped when I went off to school. “You’ve got 10 minutes to get home, not a minute longer.”
‘It was nearly impossible for me to get home within 10 minutes of the school bell going, even when I ran as fast as I could.
‘If I arrived a minute late, flushed and panting, dad would be waiting for me at the door, where he’d beat me.
‘Sometimes, if I put a foot wrong in the house or was late home from a play date at a friend’s he’d hurl the Xbox at me, or worse, the entire television screen.’
One night when Courtney was 11, Oldland’s aggression became sexual when he ushered her into his room to watch television.
She felt uncomfortable when Oldland’s eyes became ‘transfixed' on her.
Oldland then forced Courtney to touch him inappropriately, before he touched her and ‘acted like nothing had happened’.
After that night Oldland’s perverted actions became a ‘sick routine’ and he raped Courtney for the first time six months later.
‘Just a child, I was too small to fight him off. It didn’t stop me trying, though,' she said.
‘I thought dad was going to kill me that night and when he threatened to hurt mum and all my family, I was scared into silence.’
Courtney’s effort to evade the unrelenting abuse later amounted to sleeping beneath her bed in the ‘vain hope’ Oldland would not find her. But, devastatingly, it failed.
She said: ‘The monster simply came into my room at the dead of night, dragged me out from my hiding place and raped me.’
The attacks continued for four ‘miserable’ years – until Oldland was caught.
‘Then one morning, dad pounced on me in the living room,’ Courtney said.
‘He must’ve grown complacent because mum wasn’t out at work..
‘He viciously raped me and was just scrabbling to pull his jeans up when mum walked into the room.
‘‘What the hell is going on?’ she screamed, aghast. Dad looked like he’d seen a ghost as he grappled with his flies.
‘‘‘Nothing love, nothing’s going on,” he tried to tell her as mum looked at me.
‘My heart pounded in my chest as I saw the shock and hurt in her eyes.
‘I froze, too terrified to utter a word, but as I fled the room and listened to mum and dad argue a confidence grew inside me.
‘It was time for this to stop. It was time for justice.’
Courtney ran into her room, grabbed some paper and wrote all about the abuse she had suffered for almost half a decade.
She stuffed the note into her school bag and took it to the police station the next morning, bursting into tears when a ‘friendly’ officer said she was safe, after hearing her story.
Courtney said: ‘That morning, dad was arrested at work. Officers found him with a bag of used condoms.
‘After mum had caught him with me the day before, he must have known he was in trouble and was trying to destroy the evidence.
‘But when DNA tests on the condoms matched to both me and him, dad had signed his own death warrant.’
Even with evidence stacked against him, Oldland denied charges in court – spurring Courtney to testify at trial, face-to-face with her attacker.
A jury unanimously found him guilty and he was convicted.
‘I watched him cower as the judge at Portsmouth Crown Court handed him a sentence of 17 years and sent him down to the cells,’ she said.
‘Now, I’m glad that monster is behind bars where he belongs and I’m moving on.
‘But I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day mum caught dad raping me.’
Courtney now lives in safety, in Portsmouth, where she has a partner, Connor Childs, 18, and two young boys.
Parcs, the Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service, provides specialist support to anyone aged five or above, in the city or south-east Hampshire, who has experienced sexual abuse at any time.
Call the charity on (023) 9266 9513, or its young persons service on (023) 9266 9519.