Serial sex offender Mark Berry jailed again
Mark Berry, a prolific paedophile has been jailed again. In 1998, he was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for sexually abusing four girls between 1982 and 1996. The offences against these girls were of the most serious nature including indecent assault, two counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape and having intercourse with a child under 16.
However, Berry had also abused a fifth girl at a similar time, yet he never confessed to these crimes. Her life has been devastated by the abuse Berry perpetrated against her, meaning she was unable to report Berry to the police until recently. When she did so, Berry pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault against her and has been sentenced to a further seven years imprisonment with an additional one year license extension.
Detective Sergeant James Clayton said: “The victim of Berry felt unable to report the offending at the time and also for many years after. However, when she saw the support being provided to another victim in a separate case, this gave her the courage to talk to police. It is thanks to this bravery of the victim that we were then able to launch an investigation and bring this case to court while making sure full support was in place for her.”
Many survivors still don’t feel able to disclose the childhood sexual abuse perpetrated against them. Sadly, many feel acute embarrassment and shame, despite the fact that such embarrassment and shame should fall solely and squarely on the shoulders of the abuser. Also the fear they won’t be believed continues to exist. It is therefore not at all surprising it took so many years for this survivor to report Berry to the police. However her case shows that justice is still possible even where the abuse happened many years ago. My hope is that her bravery will empower other survivors to come forward, so that those responsible can be brought to justice.