Belfast Telegraph

'I was shocked to find he abused others. I thought it was only me'

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Belfast woman who was sexually abused by the man she saw as her father said she is glad the pensioner is now behind bars.

The 29-year old, who was fostered by Brian Jackson and his wife as a baby and stayed in their care until she was 18, said it felt "weird" watching the man she called "daddy" being sent to jail.

Speaking after Jackson was sentenced, the mum-of-five said: "I completely adored that man, so what happened in court is really weird. On one hand I hate him for what he did to me, but on the other hand he's my daddy and someone I looked up to."

In yesterday's sentencing remarks, Judge Kerr acknowledged the strong bond the girl once had with Jackson and spoke of "persistent offending" against her when she was aged between 12 and 14.

The woman said: "I was shocked when I found out he'd been abusing other children, as I thought it was only me.

"I feel like my whole life has been a lie. What he did to me has had a massive effect on my relationships with other people. I don't trust anyone, I don't let my kids go out after a certain time at night, and I never allow any of them to go on sleepovers.

"I honestly felt like their daughter, and they even talked about adopting me. I know a lot of people thought that he was a respectable, church-going man, but people should know what really went on behind closed doors."

Also reacting to the jail term were two relatives of another of Jackson's former foster children, who has learning difficulties.

The girl, who is now 19 and studying for a childcare course at tech, has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The girl's grandmother said: "I don't think three years is long enough for what he did, but at the same time he's in prison now.

"My granddaughter has been left in a terrible state after what he did to her. She's terrified of men and if she sees a man standing in the street, she'll cross the road just to avoid walking past him."

The girl's aunt also questioned the vetting process for foster carers, and voiced the hope that someone like Jackson would not be able to look after children, especially those who are vulnerable, again.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph