A child abuse victim has waived her right to anonymity to call for a law change – to get paedophiles to serve their ENTIRE prison sentence.
Brave Rochelle Brunt, 27, watched evil Jason Viles, 44, sent to jail for five years after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting her between the ages of six and ten.
But after being told he could be free within two and a half years, Rochelle, who said she still suffered the effects of the abuse, said she felt “let down” by the justice system.
She has now launched a petition calling on more rights to victims than their abusers and force changes to ensure that criminals serve longer in jail.
Viles, of Penzance, Cornwall, was convicted of eight counts of indecent assault at Truro Crown Court in December but could be back on the streets as soon as June 2018.
But angry Rochelle said: “He took four years of my life, so how is it fair that he could end up serving only two and a half years of a five-year sentence?
“He stole my whole childhood and it had a massive effect on me. I find it hard to trust people; I build walls to keep myself at a distance, and needed sleeping pills to sleep in the lead-up to the trial.
“I still suffer flashbacks now, but I see myself as a survivor and not a victim.
“Nothing I do will change his sentence, as the appeal date has now passed, but if I can make a stand and maybe change things for other people in the future then it’ll be worth it.”
Rochelle, a carer from Redruth, Cornwall, knew Viles, who was once an IT technician at a school, as a friend of the family, and the abuse began when he was babysitting her and her siblings.
The court heard that Viles would sit underneath a duvet with her and masturbate, and attempt to get her to help him.
On one occasion he pushed his penis between metal bars into her bunk bed.
Rochelle said: “At the time I was so young I didn’t really understand what was going on but I knew something wasn’t right.
“I don’t blame my parents in any way, as they had no idea he was a paedophile, but I felt like I couldn’t say anything at the time as I either wouldn’t be believed or my dad would go and kill him.”
She avoided the family home whenever Viles was in, a habit her parents put down to a personality clash and a teenage temperament, and it wasn’t until Rochelle confided in her mother three years ago that a police investigation was launched.
She said that she was nervous in the run-up to the trial, but all nerves evaporated the minute she saw her attacker in the dock, replaced by a sense of determination.
She added: “At first the sentence felt like a victory, as I expected him to get three or four years, but when the police told me he could be out in half of that I felt sick.
“The justice system is shocking, and his attitude in court was sickening. He never showed any remorse, denied all the charges and sacked his counsel after two days, meaning that the trial was adjourned for two weeks.”
During the trial, Miss Brunt said, she was unhappy with her treatment at the court and said she was made to feel like the criminal.
“He was bailed right up until the day he was sentenced and, despite him being prevented from contacting me, I still saw him walking up through Redruth on one occasion.
“During the trial I wasn’t allowed to have a cigarette when he was, and even had to be accompanied to the toilet. He freely wandered around the court.
“I understand it’s a case of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but I felt like I was the one on trial, and how do they expect people to come forward to report these kind of crimes?
“It took two years and five months to get him into Crown court, as he refused to admit any wrongdoing and stayed with a not guilty plea.
“If he behaves, he’ll be out in the same time it took to get him into court in the first place.
“My husband, parents, family and friends have supported me completely and I can’t thank them enough.
“Hopefully people will sit up and take notice and make sure other people won’t suffer in the same way I have.”
To sign her petition visit https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-justice-change-of-the-law-give-victims-more-rights-than-abusers