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Brave woman rekindles relationship with paedophile father so he'd confess to sexually abusing her as four-year-old child

Mary Clare, 60, and daughter Wendy have spoken out about their abuse 

 A woman has revealed how she struck up a relationship with her paedophile father so that he would confess to sexually abusing her as a young child.
Wendy Wilks has come forward to tell her story after former sales rep Robert Gaskell, 60, was jailed for ten years for sexually assaulting three women between 1973 and 1984.
The 38-year-old supported by mother Mary Clare, 60, is now urging other victims to speak to police saying it is never too late to speak out about the abuse they suffered.
Both Wendy and Mary Clare, who are from Burnage in Manchester, were present in Manchester Crown Court in June to watch Gaskell receive his sentence.

The last time Wendy had seen her father was when she says he told her that he had abused her as a child. Mary Clare has also claimed she was domestically abused by Gaskell and wants other to come forward.
Wendy, who is a manager at an energy company, said the moment the verdicts came back was fraught with emotion.
“It was a rollercoaster of anger, sadness and nausea. I’m convinced there are other victims," she told the Manchester Evening News.
By the time of Gaskell's conviction, mother-of-one Wendy had not seen her biological father for 15 years, and her own mum, Mary, who has three children, had been divorced from him for more than three decades.
For a long time Wendy didn’t know why she wasn’t allowed to see him, but suffered from disturbing dreams.
Wendy said: “There would be a chair in the middle of the room. I would see someone was sat in the chair, and every time I walked around to see the face, I couldn’t see the face.
"I was always trying to find out who this mystery man was. You’re trying to see the person and every time they turn away. Then there were the nightmares of being chased all the time. Of being grabbed...being pinned down and unable to move.”
It was only when she was 13 that Wendy understood what the dreams were about and she asked her mother why it was that she was never allowed to see her biological father.
The question forced Mary to unearth a dark secret from the past - that when Wendy was four, she had confided in a relative that Gaskell had sexually abused her, using child-like but starkly obvious language.
The revelation - back in 1984 - had come the day after Wendy was baptised.
Wendy said: “Maybe I heard the priest talking about sin, and something triggered in my head."
Robert Gaskell, 60, was jailed for ten years in June

 For Mary, the awful revelation was a bolt from the blue - although she knew that Gaskell had a dark side.
Mary was just 14 when she met Robert Gaskell in 1972. He ‘seemed like a nice lad’, though she recalls that people who had been to Parrs Wood High School with him said he was ‘horrible’. In time she understood exactly what it was they meant.
Mary said: “If we played a game of darts he would always end up hitting me with a dart ‘accidentally’
“If he was playing football anywhere near me he always ‘accidentally’ kicked the ball straight at me, usually straight into my face.
"On one occasion I ended up with a broken collarbone and a dislocated shoulder after a play fight. I put all these incidents down to immaturity, but I think, on reflection, he meant to hurt me and enjoyed it.”
By the time she was 17, Mary had married him. She excitedly filled the marital home - at Parkin Street, Longsight - with items bought from Woolworths.
Wendy struck up the relationship with her father to hear the confession

But Gaskell’s unpredictability very quickly made the home a prison. Mary alleges his abuse of her took on all forms, including violence when she was pregnant, and in public.
Mary said endured it for a long time - she was proud and as a young woman of Irish Catholic heritage, divorce was a matter of shame. “You put up and shut up” back then, Mary said.
Mary finally left him in 1982. The tipping point came when, as she remembers, he came at her violently in the street, forcing her to run and to hide in a bin ‘like Top Cat’.
Still, despite the experiences Mary had endured, she ‘never thought that he would harm our baby’.
Childhood sexual abuse just wasn’t a conclusion people jumped to as readily in the early eighties, even when Wendy, their daughter, began to complain of soreness, and exhibited worrying behaviours like painting nursery pictures completely black.
Mary hadn’t reported the experiences of domestic abuse she alleges to police. Officialdom was not as sympathetic back then. She recalls going to the council offices when she first tried to leave Gaskell, and being told to ‘go home and make a go of it’ by a clerk, who noted ‘you’re very well dressed and your children are beautifully clothed.’
However, when her daughter Wendy said she was being abused, Mary rang police straightaway - and to her relief Gaskell was arrested and charged with indecency offences.
On the day of that trial, back in 1984, Mary was due to give evidence and so wasn’t allowed inside the courtroom as the preliminaries were dealt with. She was told to go for lunch, but when she returned there were two burly police officers outside the courtroom.
‘It’s all over now - it’s done’, Mary recalls them saying. ‘They got him off on a technicality.’
Court notes from the time reveal how Gaskell’s trial had collapsed because interview procedures had not been properly followed, and so disclosures he made under questioning were inadmissible in court.
Mary was absolutely ‘mortified’, but in time remarried and found happiness with her second husband, Ralph. Wendy struggled through adolescence however.
Wendy said: “School was troubled. I wasn’t in there a lot. I didn’t enjoy being around people. I’d go out of the door, then get on lots of buses, and stay on the bus till I got to the end of the line.”
Wendy was in her twenties when Gaskell got back in touch. And she decided to start seeing him again, leaving her mother Mary bereft at the idea that they were developing a father-daughter relationship.
"The worry prompted Mary to write to her local newspaper in 2000, urging them to ‘name and shame’ paedophiles.
Mary wrote: “My eldest daughter has a beautiful nature. I’m frightened to death that she going to be sucked in by this monster.
"He has already begun to lavish expensive gifts upon her. My ex-husband is well-presented, well-spoken and extremely intelligent...you would never imagine he is capable of the things he has done.”
But, in meeting Gaskell, Wendy had her own secret agenda. She wanted ‘revenge’ and she wanted a ‘confession’.
Wendy said: “I took him for as much as I could - £700 in cash, a new set of leathers, because I had a bike at the time.
One day, when she had met up with Gaskell for a year and he had got drunk in his back garden, Wendy finally asked him whether he had abused her.
Wendy said: “I was always angry inside but I put on a face for him. I wanted to hear him say it and admit it and say he was sorry. He didn’t know I remembered anything. He thought it was still something I blocked out.
“I said to him, ‘I need to know from you exactly what happened.”
Wendy said that Gaskell turned to her and said ‘yeah I did it’. “He was blubbing and crying like a big baby”, Wendy said. “That’s all I wanted, that’s all I needed.”
Wendy would not see Gaskell again - not until he went on trial for abusing three other women in June of this year. It came after of his victims made disclosures to a counsellor, and in time two others came forward.
It meant the respectable life Gaskell had enjoyed for the last three decades - a job, a new wife, a house in north Wales - was finally destroyed.
Mary contacted the courts to get the records from Gaskell’s collapsed trial in 1984, and from custody hearings which referred to it, and got them to hand them over to police.
Mary and Wendy both agreed to be witnesses in the case - although in the end their evidence was agreed, and the jury never learnt of their own ordeals. In the case he sought to smear his three accusers as liars, but repeatedly tripped himself up as he gave evidence.
Mary and Wendy felt elated to see the smirk wiped off his face. But they remain troubled by the fact they never got justice for themselves - and by thoughts of what would have happened had he been brought to justice earlier.
Wendy said: “I wish they’d come forward earlier, but if they had, I would not have been alive, because some of those offences happened before I was born. How do you reason with that?”
“Then again I’m glad they waited until now, because they got heard, and back then it’s possible nothing would’ve happened.
"But, because I’ve not got justice for myself it’s like there’s a piece of my heart still waiting for that closure. The things he did to me still cast a shadow over me now.
"It’s absolute s*** knowing that your father has caused so much damage to so many women.”
Mary added: “I feel guilty for all his victims - I knew he was a monster, but never spotted anything. We now believe there are others - and we would urge anyone else who to come forward, we will support them all the way. They need to know that they are not to blame no matter how and when it happened. I am sure it will be a weight off their mind.”
Detective Constable Naomi Acton, who worked on Gaskell’s case, has praised Mary, Wendy and the complainants for their courage.
DC Acton said: “It’s this bravery of those involved in this recent case that led to the conviction of this man who had caused so much destruction to the lives of his victims and their families.
“If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual offences, no matter how long ago, I would urge you to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101.
“All reports will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated to ensure those predators that commit these vile and despicable offences are brought to justice.”

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