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Sexual abuse victims form support group to help others

Two victims of childhood sex abuse say their horrific experiences as youngsters have led them to form a support group in Manchester.

Daniel Wolstencroft and David Norman started Shatter Boys UK to help male survivors of abuse who are now aged over 18. The group already has more than 40 members attending its fortnightly group sessions in Manchester city centre.

Daniel Wolstencroft Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

Daniel tells his story. Daniel Wolstencroft, now 38, says he was sexually abused as a child by his grandad. He says the assaults took place when he was aged between five and 10-years-old. Daniel, who is a member of the The Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel for the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse by Dame Lowell Goddard, says his experiences as a child led him into a life of drugs and crime, and that it was years before he finally felt the confidence to speak about it. Daniel would spend a lot of time at the home of his grandad, Thomas Warburton, in Bolton.

It was at night time when it happened. I didn’t think anything of it at first, I thought he was just teaching me things that I didn’t know, but then it escalated.

Afterwards we didn’t speak about it, but he bought me gifts, gave me anything I wanted, and I realise now he was grooming me to keep my silence.

– Daniel Wolstencroft

It wasn’t long into his teens that Daniel, who now lives in Salford, admits he started abusing drugs and running away from home.

By 16, I was addicted to crack and heroin and eventually I ended up in prison and rehab, but when I stopped taking the drugs, it all came back.

– Daniel Wolstencroft

He decided to confront his grandfather about the alleged abuse, but he had died.

Daniel started having one-to-one sessions with a support worker and eventually felt the confidence to open up about the alleged abuse. He began to get his life back on track, even completing training to offer support to others.

In 2014, he made the decision to report his abuse to Greater Manchester Police, but no further action was taken because his gandfather had died. A spokesman for GMP confirmed:

On January 23, 2014, police received a report of historic sexual abuse of a boy that took place sometime between 1981 and 1989.

Officers investigated the report and further enquiries revealed that the man the report named as the offender had been deceased for a number of years so no further action could be taken.

– GMP Spokesperson

Mr Warburton’s family say that Daniel’s allegations against his grandfather are not supported by any evidence.

David Norman Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

David Norman says he was victim of paedophile Donald Mackintosh. He says he only signed up to the former police officer’s Boys Brigade because he wanted to play football.

It took David almost four decades to confront his past and finally build up the courage to report his abuser to police.

Mackintosh had previously been jailed for nine years during the nineties after pleading guilty to assaulting five boys dating back to 1964, but only served half his sentence.

He was due to appear in court over the fresh allegations in December 2014 having been charged with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency following David’s statement.

But before a trial could be completed, Mackintosh was found dead at his home address in Stalybridge, after taking his own life. David, from Ardwick, said it was 30 years before he disclosed his experiences to anyone, even his family.

He explained that to deal with the abuse, he threw himself into work and playing football, keeping busy so he didn’t have time to think about it. But then he got made redundant.

All of a sudden I had all this time on my hands. I started to drink and I’d find myself waking up in police stations and hospitals, and my family were dealing with this too but they had no idea what was going on inside my head, they thought it was because I’d lost my job.

– David Norman says he was victim of paedophile Donald Mackintosh

David explained he did attempt to take his own life during his struggle, resulting in daily visits by the mental health Crisis team. It wasn’t until he met Daniel Wolstencroft that David was finally able to begin to open up about his experience.

A spokesman for GMP said:

On November 20, 2013, police received a report of historic sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy that took place in the Fallowfield area sometime between January 1975 and December 1976.

Donald Mackintosh was subsequently charged with four counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency in relation to this report.

He was later found dead at his home address in Stalybridge before a trial could be completed. There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

– GMP Spokesperson