Sex assault victim dies of Covid jab complication before seeing attacked jailed

A woman who was sexually assaulted at the age of six died due to complications from a Covid jab before her attacker was brought to justice. 

Richard Davies, 57, forced his then-partner’s daughter to perform a sex act back in 1989, in Cwmbach, near Aberdare. 

Three decades later, the victim reported the matter to the police in 2020, but died just a year later before the investigation into the defendant was completed. 

A sentencing hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Friday heard Davies served as a father figure for the victim, and was trusted by her mother.

Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe told the court the victim would frequently suffer night terrors and would find refuge in her mother’s bed. 

On one such occasion, the victim got into her mother’s bed and found herself lying on her back between her mother and Davies. 

The defendant took advantage of the situation and grabbed the victim’s hand which he placed on his penis.

The next day, the victim told her mother about the incident and was taken to her grandmother’s. 

Her mother confronted her then-partner who was still in bed, by shouting at him, and calling him a “dirty b******” before telling him to get out of the house, which he did without denying the allegation.

After calling the police, the victim’s mother decided not to proceed with charges, out of concern for her daughter. 

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David worked as a bus driver, and therefore, the victim made efforts to avoid him and routes he served. 

She bumped into him accidently on one occasion. Her mother said her daughter “never let go” of the incident and spoke about the impact it has on her mental health. 

The victim reported the matter to the police more than 30 years after the assault. 

She said she had “never closed the door on it” and hoped the procedure would help her mental health. She also said she wanted justice and for the defendant to know how the assault had affected her.

Davies, of Brodawel, Penywaun, Aberdare, was arrested and picked out of an identity parade by the victim’s mother, who noticed a distinctive tattoo on his hand which had been covered up with black ink. In his police interview, he denied being in a relationship with the victim’s mother, knowing the victim or ever having lived in Cwmbach. He later pleaded guilty to gross indecency with a child.

In a victim’s personal statement, the victim’s mother said: “(The victim) could never forget about it and would often talk about it. She sought mental health support but was told she couldn’t talk about the incident. We were not able to trust men and it had a negative impact on relationships.

“In 2020, (the victim) finally went to the police, she was worried about her mental health and couldn’t simply let go of what happened, it still clearly affected her. We were shocked by the defendant’s reaction in the interview and suggested we had never been in a relationship and unaware of (the victim). It undoubtedly caused distress and caused (the victim) further anxiety.

“She just wanted to be believed, have some acknowledgement and maybe an apology but sadly that is now too late. (The victim) tragically passed away during the investigation and died with her integrity being called into question. (The victim) was the most honest, straight-talking person you could meet.

“I knew I had to do it for her, she started the process and I wanted to see it through to the end for her. Davies has ruined both of our lives.”

In mitigation, John Ryan said this was not a case of grooming and it was an isolated incident which was not planned and spontaneous. Since the assault, the barrister said his client had lived a “decent life”, got married and has had children and grandchildren. His wife continues to support him but his children and grandchildren have “separated” from him.

Judge Daniel Richards sentenced Davies to 21 months imprisonment. He also made him subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.

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