Devon farmer jailed for sexually abusing two teenaged girls
A farmer has been jailed for abusing two teenaged girls who have been left so scared by his attacks they can no longer sleep on their own.
Cancer survivor Eric Chudley tried to take his own life and was found unconscious with a shotgun beside him on the floor of the bathroom of his farm near Totnes.
He abused the girls while they were visiting his farm when they were aged about 14 and he went on to rape one of the victims twice, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Chudley, of Copper Tree Cross, Staverton, admitted two rapes and ten counts of sexual activity with a child and was jailed for 11 years by Judge John Neligan.
The judge told him: ”You subjected these girls to the most degrading behaviour for your own sexual gratification and your offences included two rapes.
“I have read the victim impact statements in which one says that you took away her childhood and she will find it hard ever to trust a man again.
“She says she was left feeling so frightened she cannot sleep at night and has had to move into her mother’s bedroom because of the fear she feels.
“Both girls have clearly suffered emotionally and it may be many years before that damage can be healed. It may be they will require counselling or therapy.”
Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said the allegations came to light in July shortly after Chudley had tried to take his own life.
He said Chudley took an overdose and was found unconscious at the family farm with a shotgun beside him which had not been used. He admitted the allegations as soon as they were made and while still recovering in hospital.
Mr William Parkhill, defending, said the offences happened at a time when Chudley was recovering from a life threatening Hodgkins Lymphoma and while struggling to run his farm.
He said: ”He was told his chances of survival were 50/50 and he had the stress of thinking he was going to die. He was also a farmer and coping with the difficulties which that involves.”