A brave sex abuse victim has waived her right to anonymity to urge others to speak out – after her attacker was jailed for eight months.
Fallon Marlow, aged 30, wants other victims of historic sex attacks to have the courage to come forward after her abuser James Street was locked up for a ‘breach of trust’ in which he took her virginity 15 years ago.
Sheffield Crown Court heard his behaviour between 1998 and 2000, when Fallon was aged between 14 and 16, would now be termed as ‘grooming’.
Street befriended Fallon, in foster care at the time, while carrying out roof repairs at her carer’s home in Shiregreen, Sheffield.
He became a regular visitor, took Fallon on days out and picked her up from school – before his sex attacks began.
Sheffield Crown Court heard, although she eventually consented to the sexual activity, she initially felt ‘frightened’ and ‘embarrassed’.
She told police that Street, of Townhead Street, Dore, took her to homes he was renovating where sexual activity would occur.
Fallon told police: “I consented, but I was frightened as well.”
Laura Marshall, prosecuting, said: “He tried to make her feel he was the only one who wanted her.”
Street admitted four counts of indecent assault, but said: “Everything we did was with Fallon’s consent.”
He pleaded guilty on the basis Fallon was 15.
Sarah Smith, mitigating, said he felt ‘remorse’ and understood ‘how his behaviour had impacted on Fallon’.
The court heard that if Fallon lodged a complaint within 12 months of the offending Street would have faced a charge of unlawful intercourse – which carried a maximum sentence of two years in jail.
Because she reported the offences later, Street had to be charged with indecent assault, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
However, sentencing guidelines dictate judges cannot impose harsher sentences than if the defendant had been prosecuted at the time of the offending.
Judge Paul Watson QC said Fallon had been a ‘vulnerable young girl’ and Street had taken her and her family ‘under his wing’.
Jailing Street, he said: “They took you into their trust. You betrayed that trusty by nurturing a relationship with Fallon,
“She looked up to you and you used that fact in order to lead into a sexual relationship, which in recent times is a process known as grooming.”