Man jailed for 1990’s child sexual abuse in Nottinghamshire

Ian Southwood. Photo credit Nottinghamshire Police.
Ian Southwood. Photo credit Nottinghamshire Police.

A 59-year-old man who created a ‘counting game’ as a veil for his abuse of a young girl has been sentenced to nine years.

Ian Stan Southwood threatened to kill the girl if she ever told anyone about the game or the abuse, which spanned over a period of more than eight years.

Southwood, formerly of Hilbourne Way, Weymouth, was found guilty of sexual activity with a child. He appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, October 16 for sentencing.

The court heard how Southwood abused the young girl while he lived in Nottinghamshire, before moving to Dorset in 1999.

When he was interviewed in January 2017 he denied all of the allegations.

The survivor, who is now in her thirties and will have lifetime anonymity, said: “I feel that the abuse that I was the victim of from Southwood has affected my whole life.

“I felt isolated and the isolation turned to anxiety and depression. I felt lost, like no-one else and alone.

"I did not know how to cope with the feelings I had as he had taken over my life.

“I have not been able to build a career because of the anxiety and depression, so not only has he taken away my childhood but he has also affected by adult work life.

“I have had disrupted sleep most of my adult life due to the mental health issues cause by the abuse.

"I have been afraid in the past to be in public as I thought it I saw him, he would attack me or I thought he was capable of getting someone else to attack me.”

DC Neil Pagan said: “The abuse that Southwood inflicted on the survivor, when she was just a young girl, has undoubtedly had a direct impact on her own family life and career.

“I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional torture she has gone through, so I won’t attempt to.

"But what I do want to do is to urge anyone that has suffered any form of abuse, whether it was last week, last year or ten years ago, to report it to us.

"We will always take reports of abuse seriously and do everything we can to get justice for you. Please don’t suffer in silence anymore.”