Laurie Matthew’s BOOKS
By Brian Horne
A WOMAN honoured for her work helping child victims of sex abuse was in court yesterday to see her own tormentor jailed.
Former soldier Andrew Matthew, 67, was caged for six years after a jury found him guilty of a catalogue of rape and indecency going back almost 50 years. Afterwards, sisters Laurie and Sharron Matthew – his nieces – waived their right to anonymity to talk about their fight for justice.
Laurie, 51, was given a Citizen of the Year award in 1997 for setting up the ’18 and Under’ project in Dundee to help child victims of abuse. She had told the High Court in Edinburgh how her ordeal began on her favourite uncle’s knee when she was just three years old. Her sister Sharron had given harrowing evidence of how she would ‘switch off’ by staring at a picture on the wall of her Dundee home while vile Matthew abused her.
She told the court: ‘I would turn to the wall and I would be in the picture of children playing.’
Laurie, who fled Dundee in her early teens and lived rough in London, admitted she had used drugs to blot out the horrific memories of what happened to her.
But leaving court yesterday, she said: ‘I think I have managed to turn the negative into positive and used a bad experience to help others.’
Sharron, 44, also a voluntary worker with 18 and Under, said: ‘I suppose I am glad to have been believed and glad it is all over and he cannot hurt anybody else. Maybe it will help somebody else to come forward. If people keep telling, eventually somebody is going to listen.’
The sisters told how Sharron, who was first raped when she was as young as four or five years old, had fought constantly for justice. She even tried to seize the microphone at a family celebration to announce what had happened.
Sharron said: ‘I told anyone who would listen. I told social workers, teachers, I told police and nobody did a thing. It is not that they didn’t believe, they didn’t take action.’
For years, the sisters thought they were their uncle’s only victims. They then began to hear about other girls. ‘It just snowballed,’ said Laurie. Finally, police were able to build a case against the pervert.
In court, Sharron told the jury how she would ‘switch off’ as her uncle abused her and she used to stare at a picture of children playing. Advocate depute Sean Murphy QC, prosecuting, told the jury it was ‘a very, very striking but at the same time horrendous and compelling image of what happened’.
Laurie told the jury she heard her sister crying while Matthew was in their bedroom.
She said she could remember her uncle’s distinctive smell of aftershave and rum and added’Nobody else smelled like him.’ Matthew, of 21 Abbotsford Place, Dundee, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, originally faced 10 charges dating from October 1956 to December 1982 and involving five youngsters.
He was found guilty of raping Sharron and of indecent behaviour with both sisters and another 10-year-old girl. Matthew was cleared of raping Laurie and other indecency charges.
Johanna Johnston, defending, asked judge Lord Glennie to take into account Matthew’s age.
But Lord Glennie told him he had breached a trust as an uncle. He said: ‘Offences of this sort require to be dealt with by a sentence with a significant element of punishment.’
Sharron added: ‘I suppose he will serve about four years. Four years of his life and 40 years of mine. And I didn’t even get a sorry.’
The sisters said they felt sorry for their uncle, who was now ‘an old man’, and would have settled for an apology. Found In Full HERE
A man who raped a five-year-old girl in Dundee 40 years ago has been jailed after a re-trial. Andrew Matthew, 69, was convicted for the second time of repeatedly raping the child, between February 1965 and October 1967.
After the first trial he successfully appealed against his conviction and three-year sentence, claiming the judge had misdirected the jury. He was given a re-trial and again found guilty. He was sentenced to five years. Matthew was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register.
At the High Court in Glasgow, Judge Lady Dorrian said: “It is my view that the minimum sentence that would be appropriate is five years imprisonment.”
Timothy Niven-Smith, defending, said Matthew still denied the offence, adding: “He lives in Dundee and it would be his intention to live there when he is at liberty again.” Found at TheUKDatabase