Dad forced son, 11, to have sex with step­mum to ‘cure’ him of be­ing gay

Vic­tim re­veals his 20-year bat­tle for jus­tice

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Front Page - BY LIZ DUN­PHY liz.dun­[email protected]­

A FA­THER forced his 11-year-old son to have sex with his step­mother in a twisted at­tempt to “cure” the child from be­ing gay.

Young Daniel Dowl­ing was made to watch porn and forced into threesomes. And when he re­fused to per­form a sex act on his step­mum his dad tried to punch him.

Daniel was robbed of a nor­mal child­hood – re­placed by a sor­did ex­is­tence which right­minded peo­ple will find hard to fathom.

He has been haunted by his or­deal – even by the smell of his step­mum’s per­fume – for more than 20 years. But now he has now seen his tor­men­tors jailed af­ter turn­ing de­tec­tive to prove the guilt of his fa­ther, an ex-Min­istry of De­fence worker.

Warped Richard Dowl­ing was jailed for five years and his ex-part­ner Annette Break­s­pear got eight. They are 62 now but were 38 when the abuse be­gan.

Le­gal rea­sons pre­vented them be­ing iden­ti­fied be­fore to­day. But they can fi­nally be ex­posed af­ter Daniel, 36, bravely waived his anonymity.


He told the Sun­day Mir­ror: “It was Dad’s job to pro­tect me. They stole my in­no­cence and ru­ined my child­hood. I can never get past that.”

Daniel will never for­get the day the abuse be­gan. It was a Sun­day af­ter­noon. Dowl­ing and Break­s­pear were play­ing board game Frus­tra­tion with Daniel at home in Brack­nell, Berks.

Fash­ion re­tail man­ager Daniel, who now lives in Sur­rey, re­calls: “Dad told me we were go­ing to try some­thing dif­fer­ent – to take our clothes off when­ever some­one lost. By the end of the game Annette was com­pletely naked.

“They in­structed me to touch and kiss her breasts. Dad was en­cour­ag­ing me to do it so I thought it was okay. I think that night was a tester of how I’d re­act be­cause in­ter­course started af­ter that.”

Daniel’s fa­ther had met for­mer carer Break­s­pear through a lonely hearts ad af­ter split­ting from the lad’s mother.

Dur­ing three years to­gether Break­s­pear stole Daniel’s vir­gin­ity and abused him more than 10 times.

Once, he was picked up by his dad from Scouts, taken home and told to “give Break­s­pear a good­night kiss”.

Daniel said: “I went into their room and she was hand­cuffed to the bed naked.

“I gave her a kiss and went to leave but she asked me to touch her and to un­tie one of her hands. We had in­ter­course and Dad came and joined in.”

An­other time, he was made to view porn be­fore his dad had oral sex with Annette and said: “That’s how you do it.”

In an­other sick­en­ing in­ci­dent

Daniel was called in to find them naked and en­gaged in a sex act. Break­s­pear then had sex with Daniel. He said: “We’d watch porn in bed to­gether and then we’d have threesomes. She’d in­struct me on what to do. Some­times when Dad wasn’t there she’d ask me into her room for fondling and in­ter­course.

“I was an only child and I spent a lot of time play­ing Lego but she’d come in and ask me to do things to her.”

Daniel, who is gay but cur­rently sin­gle, said: “I was sex­u­alised at such a young age that sex means noth­ing to me now.

“The few pos­i­tive me­mories of my child­hood are tar­nished by me­mories of the abuse. When I smell some­one wear­ing her per­fume, or see that board game in a shop or on TV, it brings the me­mories back.” In a sick­en­ing at­tempt to ex­plain his


All my child­hood me­mories are tar­nished by the abuse... Dad failed to pro­tect me


in his trial at Read­ing Crown Court, Daniel’s fa­ther claimed he abused his son “to try and steer him in the right di­rec­tion and not to go to the way of be­ing gay, be­cause there was like, sort of, ten­den­cies for him to be gay”.

He added: “All I ever wanted was for him to turn out the right way.”

Daniel said: “Dad said that he did it to stop me be­ing gay be­cause I showed fem­i­nine traits as a child.

“One day we were at a car boot sale and my neigh­bour saw me wrestling an old lady for a hand­bag.

“She told my dad, ‘Your Dan’s go­ing to bat for the other side’. And Dad said ‘No son of mine will be gay.’ I think the abuse started af­ter that.”

It only stopped when Dowl­ing and Break­s­pear split up around 1996. He claimed he broke up with her be­cause she told him she’d had sex with Daniel and his grandad on the same day.

The teenager and his fa­ther moved to Wey­mouth, Dorset. But Daniel, then 16, was tar­geted by an­other pae­dophile. Po­lice raided the pervert’s home and found naked pic­tures of Daniel. It was then, as he was be­ing in­ter­viewed by a child psy­chol­o­gist, that Daniel re­vealed the years of abuse from his dad and step­mum.

Dowl­ing was quizzed but claimed his son was an “attention seek­ing” liar. Daniel be­lieves Break­s­pear was not ques­tioned and there were no ar­rests.

The de­s­pair­ing young­ster later tried to kill him­self. When the case fi­nally came to trial in May this year it was claimed po­lice treated him “shod­dily” at his 1998 video in­ter­view – and that one con­sta­ble even mocked him.

Daniel says it was left to him, some 17 years later, to fi­nally get jus­tice. On Septem­ber 6, 2015, he se­cretly recorded a phone con­ver­sa­tion in which his fa­ther ad­mit­ted the abuse.

Two days later Daniel walked into Staines po­lice sta­tion, Sur­rey, with the record­ing – and he said that this time the po­lice took him se­ri­ously. He said: “I don’t know if train­ing has im­proved or if I was just un­lucky the first time, but I would def­i­nitely en­cour­age other vic­tims of his­toric abuse to come for­ward and re­port it now.”


Daniel’s dad ad­mit­ted to po­lice that he and Break­s­pear car­ried out “sor­did and de­plorable” abuse and that he felt ashamed and dis­gusted.

In court he claimed the abuse was to pre­vent Daniel “turn­ing gay”, to “pro­tect him from pae­dophiles so he would know what was right and wrong” – and to ed­u­cate him about how he should treat women. He blamed his ac­tions on “un­di­ag­nosed de­pres­sion” and said he fell un­der the in­flu­ence of Break­s­pear – who he la­belled “a Jekyll and Hyde char­ac­ter”.

Break­s­pear was found guilty of three counts of in­de­cent as­sault.

Dowl­ing ad­mit­ted one count of cru­elty to a child and two counts re­lat­ing to sex­ual of­fences in­volv­ing a child. He was found not guilty of one count of in­de­cent as­sault.

Judge Maria Lamb told Dowl­ing: “Your warped sense of right and wrong al­lowed him to be ex­ploited by your then part­ner not just once but again and again. You’ve failed to pro­tect him from the sex­u­ally preda­tory be­hav­iour of your co-de­fen­dant.

“The dam­age is in­cal­cu­la­ble. The abuse of trust is mon­strous and the re­al­ity is that one of you was in­volved in ac­tive sex­ual abuse and the other con­nived at it.”

The judge told Break­s­pear: “For your own per­verted sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion you ini­ti­ated this boy into a world far be­yond any­thing to which he should ever have had to be in­tro­duced at those ten­der years.”

Daniel, who has not spo­ken to his fa­ther for over two years, said: “Dad threw me un­der the bus in­stead of ad­mit his guilt. He is dead to me now.”

Det Supt Fiona Grant, of Dorset Po­lice, re­sponded to crit­i­cism over the 1998 video in­ter­view.

Prais­ing Daniel for his courage, she said: “The video met all nec­es­sary guide­lines and was ac­cepted as ev­i­dence dur­ing the trial at Read­ing.

“We con­ducted multi-agency pro­fes­sion­als meet­ings with re­gards to his on­go­ing safe­guard­ing.

“Dorset Po­lice takes sex­ual as­sault ex­tremely se­ri­ously. Do not suf­fer in si­lence, come for­ward and re­port it.”

Dad picked me up from Scouts and I got home to find step­mum naked, hand­cuffed to bed DANIEL DOWL­ING ON THREESOMES WITH PAE­DOPHILE DAD AND PART­NER

Daniel Dowl­ing was robbed of child­hoodTHE SON

Fa­ther Richard and step­mum Break­s­pearTHE ABUSERS

JAILED Annette Break­s­pear, 62ABUSER Dad Richard Dowl­ing

DE­MONS Or­deal haunts vic­tim Daniel

TAR­GETED Daniel was first abused dur­ing fam­ily board game

IN­NO­CENCE Daniel dur­ing days as Scout

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