Chichester woman ‘haunted’ by years of abuse

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A WOMAN said she has been ‘haunted’ for 20 years after suffering more than a half-a-decade of physical and sexual abuse.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was speaking at the second day of the trial of Lorne De Angelista.

De Angelista, 46, of Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton, is on trial for two counts of buggery, two counts of rape and one count of actual bodily harm.

He is also accused of cruelty towards a child and denies all charges.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, this week told jurors at Chichester Crown Court the offences happened between 1986 and 1993, in Summersdale, Chichester.

“I just put up with it because he used to scare me,” she said.

“He used to make me feel like everything was my fault.”

Speaking on Tuesday, she said she had not been in contact with De Angelista, who she knew as Lorne Hovey, for 20 years.

But then, in April, last year she saw him on a night out – an event which had a ‘profound’ effect on her.

She went to the police soon after, saying she had been sexually and physically abused by De Angelista, 20 years before.

The woman said the defendant punched, kicked and strangled her in a string of abuse spanning a period of seven years.

She also claimed he had physically abused her daughter, and, who was under the age of nine at the time of the alleged incident.

Speaking about the first time she saw her alleged attacker in more than two decades, she said: “I just shook from head to foot.

“I heard he was moving back to Chichester and I thought I have to do something about it.

“He absolutely scares the hell out of me.”

Giving evidence, she said De Angelista threatened to kill her and her daughter if she went to the police about the abuse.

“Because I was so scared I believed him,” she said.

“I just can’t let that man get away with what he did me and it is still affecting my life now.

“I am in my 40s now and I was in my 20s then.”

She said she thought people around her were aware of the abuse, but ‘not one of them would ring the police’ and she said she was ‘embarrased’.

Prosecuting, Gabrielle Henty said the defendant was ‘controlling’ and ‘violent’ and the abuse happened so often the victim may not be able to remember every date.

“We say he was frequently violent and there were so many abusive incidents that it was simply not possible for her to specify each and every one,” said Miss Henty.

De Angelista denies all the charges against him.

The trial continues.