A mum-of-three has revealed how her father raped and sexually abused her as a little girl.
Trish Hinde, from Manchester, was just six years old when her dad, Gerard King, 59, began his three years of abuse against her.
Despite the now 34-year-old developing epilepsy and having seizures, King continued to attack her around the family home and even on their way to medical appointments.
Over the years, Trish came forward to loved ones, school teachers, social workers, therapists, and sexual abuse charities – but she was sadly let down each time.
In April this year, King was finally convicted of the abuse and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“When I was young, I lived with a monster who abused me at every given chance. For years, I’ve been trying to come forward, but so many organisations let me down,” Trish said.
“Now, at age 34, I finally have justice and I can move forward with my life.”
‘My life was hell’
In 1994, when Trish was six years old, her mother worked various jobs during the day, while King worked as a night-time security guard.
“Mum would be gone by the time I got up for school so I was left alone with Dad a lot,” Trish recalled.
“One morning, Dad called for me from their bedroom and asked me to get into bed with him.
“He took my hand and made me touch him below.
“Afterwards, he made me swear on mum’s life I wouldn’t tell anyone. I was scared and confused.
“The next morning, it happened again, but this time, he made me take my clothes off and he touched me.”
From then on, King forced Trish into degrading sexual acts around the house. Terrified, she regularly snuck out, or hid in cupboards to avoid her father.
“I developed asthma and started having seizures. I was diagnosed with epilepsy,” she said.
“But that didn’t stop Dad. He’d abuse me in the car to and from my medical appointments.
“My life was hell.”
When Trish was seven, King raped her for the first time in the family’s living room.
“I cried from the pain and he examined me after for any damage. Then he told me not to tell anyone or he’d go to prison,” she said.
“Again, he made me swear on Mum’s life. So I thought if I told anyone, Mum would die.
“I also thought, if Dad went to prison, there would be no one to look after me. So I stayed silent.”
‘I longed to tell someone … but they did nothing’
King’s campaign of terror against Trish continued until she was nine, when he disappeared after he split from her mum.
By then, the damage was done. Trish’s seizures increased, and she wet the bed constantly.
Years later in 2001, when Trish had her first sex education class at school, she realised what had occurred to her was sexual abuse.
“I longed to tell someone, so when I was 13 I wrote my life story detailing all the abuse for an English essay at school,” Trish said.
“But I didn’t hear back from my teacher about it.
“The next year, I wrote a long letter to my mum about what Dad put me through and I gave it to her.
“She read [it] and cried. She couldn’t believe it.
“Mum handed the letter to a social worker. But the social workers did nothing with the letter, and it was soon forgotten about.”
As Trish grew older, she “drank” and became “suicidal”.
“When I met my first serious boyfriend and we had sex, I had a seizure,” she said.
“I suspected my fits were directly linked to the trauma of Dad’s abuse, so I saw a therapist and told her.
“She said she’d speak to her supervisor but just like before, nothing happened.”
Trish eventually met financial crime operations manager, Craig Hinde, and they went on to get married and had three children.
“Craig supported me when I felt ready to ring a historical child abuse helpline,” she said.
“I told them everything, and with my permission, they sent a report to the police. But nothing came of it again. It was heartbreaking.”
‘I was so glad I finally had justice’
Not long after, Trish discovered that King was working as a truck driver in Manchester.
Unable to carry on living in fear, she found the courage to contact the Greater Manchester police force herself in July 2020.
“As I’d been let down before, I didn’t expect anything to come of it,” Trish said.
“However, not only did the officer listen, he supported me through the process as I gave statements. I was astonished.
“I told him about the letter I’d written to my mum that had been handed to a social worker when I was 13. He called me days later telling me he’d tracked down the letter and it could be used as evidence.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
In 2021, King was arrested and charged with the abuse of his daughter.
In April, he was found guilty of one count of rape, five counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child against Trish at Chester Crown Court. He was sentenced to 15 years prison.
“During the trial, it was the first time I’d seen my dad in 25 years. I was shaking,” Trish said.
“Being on the stand and telling every detail to the jury was horrible.
“But after hearing the word ‘guilty’ and his sentence, I was so glad I finally had justice.
“Now I’m just trying to be the best mum I can and give my kids the childhood I never had.
“If you’ve been abused too, please, don’t stop reporting it. You will be believed and get justice.”
Story Credit: news.com.au