An ‘evil beast’ from Chesterfield has been jailed for life after committing a string of historic sex offences.
John Wass, 69, of Emmet Field Close, Chesterfield, was found guilty of 17 counts, including rape, sexual assault and sexual exposure against three victims – including his own sister – dating back to the 1960s.
His sister and victim has now waived her right to anonymity to speak to the Derbyshire Times.
Rosemarie Smith, 59, said: “I will never forgive him for taking away my life and destroying me as a child.”
Born in Chesterfield, Rosemarie suffered horrific sexual and physical abuse from Wass when she was aged four.
Rosemarie was taken into care with her siblings after their parents split up and abandoned them.
And even on the night she was taken into care, aged nine, Wass abused her.
The author told how Wass would ‘haunt’ her and would track her down wherever she went.
She said she suffered a physical breakdown which lasted 10 years and had counselling.
Rosemarie also published two books about her abuse before Wass was arrested and sentenced and is now working on her third book.
“None of my family would come forward as witnesses because everyone was scared of him,”Rosemarie said. “He was a big man of our family. He was a beast, evil.”
She also said she was contacted by some of her family members who questioned why she would give evidence against her own brother.
“At first I felt guilty – but I have had a life sentence. But they cannot see it,” Rosemarie said.
The case went to court after another victim of Wass’ terror reported him to the police.
Rosemarie said she received tremendous support from Detective Constable Paul Butler, of Chesterfield Public Protection Unit, and his team.
Wass was sentenced to life on Rosemarie’s 59th birthday – July 12 – after a three-week trial at Derby Crown Court.
Rosemarie, who now lives in Peterborough, said: “At first it did bother me but then I spoke to a friend who I was in care with and she told me I could look at it negatively and let it burden me or I could open a bottle of champagne and celebrate the fact I have got peace.
“I can now walk down the street where I live which I have not been able to do for 20 years.”
Det Con Butler said: “I think that the sentence given to this man reflects the severity of his crimes. I hope sentences like this give other potential victims of child abuse the confidence to come forward.”