A VICTIM has told how sex abuse suffered in Dewsbury as a child led to a life of alcoholism and crime.
The man, 42, who cannot be named, spoke exclusively to The Press after his attacker was convicted of offences commited in the 1980s.
He became a homeless alcoholic with a record of thefts committed while drunk.
The man, having beaten his drink problem, complained to police about his sexual abuse on October 18 , 2013.
It led Hashim Patel to be convicted on June 26 this year on two counts of indecent assault.
The man said: “I was a drunk for 22 years and the only reason I sobered up was to bring these charges.
“But it remains a constant battle because alcohol is with me every single day of my life.”
Patel, 72, of Moorlands Road, Westtown, is due to be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Monday, July 27.
He initially faced eight charges. One was withdrawn and he was cleared of the other five.
Patel was found not guilty of buggery, indecent assault and three charges of gross indecency with a child.
The court heard the two incidents Patel was convicted of occurred at a shop in Westtown and in Staincliffe.
The victim was 14 at the time of the offences in 1987 but could not recall the exact dates they took place.
Having been taken into care in Todmorden, he used to visit his mother, who lived near the Westtown shop on St Matthew’s Road.
Local authority records showed the woman, who had mental health problems, left the area in September, 1987.
In the first incident, Patel performed a sex act on the teenager in the shop’s anteroom and then touched the boy at a property in Staincliffe. The distress caused to an already vulnerable child led the victim to turn to drink.
By the age of 16 he was an alcoholic with a record of petty crime committed while drunk.
He slept rough for six months in 1992 before moving into a Keighley hostel in January the next year.
From there he stayed in a Shipley B&B until the end of 1995 and then moved to other temporary accommodation in Bradford, Featherstone and Lupset, near Wakefield. Probation officers secured him a flat in Wakefield in 1997, where he has remained.
His alcoholism continued until he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder during counselling.
The man’s relief at the convictions is tempered by a concern that there could be other victims.
He said: “Patel was a shopkeeper in a position of trust who had access to children. And what he did to me he did very quickly.”
As part of his continuing therapy, he recently returned to the shop. It is hoped the experience will help with panic attacks and insomnia caused by the abuse.
He wants a positive outcome and added: “I’d like to think that one day I can work with other victims of sexual abuse.
“I’m not sure I’ll ever get over what happened. But the convictions have brought some relief.”
Sex abuse conviction offers hope for victims
POLICE have spelled out how victims can report sexual abuse after the conviction of a Dewsbury man for historic offences.
Hashim Patel, of Moorlands Road, Westtown, was brought to book through Operation Topaz.
Det Chief Insp Sue Jenkinson, lead officer for safeguarding, said: “Operation Topaz was a dedicated unit for the investigation of serious sexual offences.
“The specialist expertise of the team has now been incorporated into the work of the district child and adult safeguarding units.”
Access to specialist support is available through a county-wide Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which has services under one roof.
Det Chief Insp Jenkinson said: “It is a free, non-judgmental service providing victims with advice and guidance around their emotional and practical needs.
“The centre offers confidential help and support to male and female victims over the age of 16.
“And it is available to all victims regardless of whether they have elected to report the offence to the police.”
Coun Erin Hill, Kirklees Council cabinet member for child protection, said more needs to be done for vulnerable youngsters.
Patel’s victim, who lived in a care home, sank into a life of alcholism and crime after being abused.
Coun Hill said: “Despite making up less than one per cent of the national population, care leavers make up 24 per cent of the adult prison population.
“It’s obvious from these statistics that we have to go further to look after care leavers.”
Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence can contact police directly or call the Sexual Offences Referral Centre on 01924 298954.