first_imgRichard Blackburn who was found guilty of sexual offences at Letterkenny Circuit court. (North West Newspix)A serial sex predator who attacked a girl when she was just 13 years -old in the back of a specially-adapted youth club van can be named today, thanks to the brave victim.Rachel McAuley wrote to prosecutors in Donegal to ask that evangelical Christian Richard Blackburn be named and shamed. And she waived her right to anonymity so she could do that.Sick Blackburn groomed his victim at a the Congregational Church Youth Club in Raphoe between 2000 and 2002. Rachel was 13 when the abuse began and was just short of her 15th birthday when the abuse ended.She plucked up the courage to go to gardai in 2011 to reveal the shocking tale of abuse.Letterkenny Circuit Court heard how Blackburn bought his victim presents including a mobile phone so he could keep in touch with her.Blackburn, 57, of Carnone, Raphoe, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault but Ms McAuley said in her victim impact statement read to the court that he had abused her ‘daily’ between 2000 and 2002.Detective Garda Ciaran Brolly said Ms McAuley was unable to return from abroad to attend the court but wanted the court to know that she had waived her right to anonymity so Blackburn could be identified.He read her statement to Judge John O’Hagan in which she described how the incidents had destroyed her life, making her constantly nervous and unable to sleep at night.Blackburn would abuse her on trips back from Raphoe Youth Club to her granny’s house in Convoy.One one occasion he had driven the van, with a sofa-bed in the back and curtains to stop anyone seeing in, to a secluded spot known as The Spire in Convoy. He had then sexually assaulted the girl.“I didn’t have my life,” said Ms McAuley.“I had my innocence taken away, my teenager years didn’t exist at all. People can look back at their teenage years with happy memories but I cannot do that because it was dark, scary and life-altering.”She said her parents were Blackburn’s best friends. Her mother had even been bridesmaid at her mother’s wedding and her grandmother treated Blackburn like another son.She said she rarely slept at night and suffered anxiety.She felt unable to return to Ireland over the past couple of years to spend time with her elderly grandmother for fear of running into Blackburn who had spent years blaming her for the assaults.Her granny, she said, had since died and she had missed special moments in the last years of her life.Ms McAuley said she had been to counselling but had found the latest treatment too traumatic to complete.The court heard Blackburn had helped to run the Congregational Church Youth Club for 12 to 18-year-olds.During one attack on Ms McAuley a garda patrol had stopped to check on the van which was parked on the Barnesmore Gap in Co Donegal.Blackburn had jumped back into the front of the vehicle and told gardai he had stopped for a sleep. Gardai had left the scene not realising Ms McAuley, then 14, was in the back.Judge John O’Hagan said that while reports said Blackburn was at a low risk of re-offending, the breach of trust in the case was extremely serious.He said the pervert had known Ms McAuley’s age very well because he had known her from she was a baby.The attacks had left “deep scars” on the victim, said the judge, and it was clear the incidents were still having an affect on her life.He jailed Blackburn for two years, suspending the last year for a period of 12 months, on each of the three counts and placed Blackburn on the sex offenders register for 10 years.BRAVE VICTIM OF CHURCH YOUTH CLUB PAEDOPHILE NAMES HER ATTACKER was last modified: January 28th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:atatckerdonegalpervertRaphoeRichard Blackburnyouth clublast_img

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