The victim of paedophile Derek Thompson who helped put him behind bars says he was so manipulated that the monster convinced him they had a “secret relationship”.
David Jones was just 11 years old when he was targeted by Thompson, who painted himself as a upstanding person serving as the treasurer for the local community centre in the village of Thorpe.
He worked his way into a position of trust with David’s family and on occasions looked after the youngster.
Paedophile locked 12-year-old boy inside community centre during four year sex abuse ordeal
It was then that the abuse started, first with touching before escalating into more serious assaults.
David was warned by Thompson that nobody would believe him if he spoke out, and between the ages of 12 and 14 the abuse reached its peak, sometimes up to 10 times a week.
It would happen at Thompson’s home, in his car on day trips into Wakefield and sometimes in the community centre on their street, with Thompson brazenly following David into the toilet and locking the door while others were in the building.
Even if suspicions were aroused, David would deny anything was happening.
Due to Thompson’s calculated manipulation, David never felt like there was anything illegal taking place, although it began to affect his behaviour.
He was even excluded from school for which Thompson said he should be punished - leading to more sexual abuse.
David, who is now 24 and works for a debt-collecting agency, said: “I remember it felt like a secret relationship, it was not violent or aggressive and it never crossed my mind that it was abuse.
“I never understood what sex was until I was about 13 or 14.
“In hindsight, I felt quite a lot of my behaviour was down to my inability to speak out and cope.
“I have struggled to adapt to adult life - he took away my innocence. I never had the chance to develop into my teenage years and learn how to be an adult.”
The abuse came to an end when he was almost 16, but David’s life continued to spiral out of control even after he began a serious relationship with a girl.
It was not until 2016 that the magnitude of the abuse dawned on him and began ‘eating away’ at him.
After a death in the family, by his own words, David ‘crash landed’ as he became haunted by flashbacks and nightmares.
However, he kept the memories bottled up and the guilt drove him to thoughts of suicide.
By the time he took the courageous step of reporting it to police in June 2017, he says he had hit ‘rock bottom’ and attempted to take his own life.
But having made the brave decision to tell the authorities of his horrendous ordeal, he knew he wanted to see the case through and face his attacker in the courtroom, as well as waive his right to lifelong anonymity.
“I always decided I was going to go into court,” said David, who now lives in Middleton.
“I was advised against it by the police and victim support, but I needed closure and to see if for myself.
“It’s about him admitting that he did it.
“I do not hate him, in some ways I feel sorry for him, but that’s part of the manipulation.
“I will never forgive him but I not let him control me anymore.
“I struggle every day, I have to take anti-anxiety medication and when I go out I have my headphones to block out other people, but I am living with it.
“I’m in one of the best places I’ve been for a long time.”