Published: 16:06, 24 April 2018
| Updated: 07:34, 25 April 2018
A pervert whose sexual abuse of his teenage stepdaughter led her to tragically commit suicide has been jailed for nine years.
Georgia Walsh was hit by a train just weeks after claiming she had been molested by Brett Connell.
The 16-year-old victim left a note declaring she wanted to ensure that he "rots in hell”.
A judge said when passing sentence: “Whether there were other subsidiary factors which affected the balance of her mind, I am completely satisfied it was your conduct which was the principal reason that led to Georgia committing suicide.
“Her mother has lost one of her daughters. Georgia has lost her life because of you, because of the pleasure you sought to obtain.”
She had told police Connell, 36, had abused her when she was 13 or 14.
She spoke of feeling lost and scared and believing she had to “stay silent“.
Prosecutor Dominic Connolly said it was not until February last year that Georgia made the allegations.
Georgia, from Swanley, killed herself, running in front of a train at Dunton Green station, on March 17 after Connell was released on police bail.
"She left a note referring to how the stress from the current situation was too much to handle, and to ‘make sure that b*****d rots in hell for what he has done'," Mr Connolly told Maidstone Crown Court.
Her video recorded interview was played to the jury.
Connell, of Clare Way, Sevenoaks, denied five charges of sexual activity with a child, but was convicted.
Connell also denied 11 other sex offences unrelated to Georgia. He was convicted of eight of them and acquitted of three.
Georgia claimed Connell started putting his tongue in her mouth when she went to bed.
“He came to tuck me into bed and kissed me on the cheek,” she said. "I said I was going to bed and went to roll over and he said 'No, kiss me properly'. He kissed me with his tongue and I tried to push him away.
"I was confused, I was quite scared as well. I was, like, lost. I didn't know that was sexual assault."
Georgia said Connell progressed to touching her breasts.
"I knew that it was wrong and I was just scared and didn't know what to do..." - Georgia Walsh
"He would go to tuck me in and slide his hand up my shirt,” she said. “I would try to push him away but he would put his hand on my breasts. Sometimes he touched me on top (of clothing) but mostly it was under.
"I knew that it was wrong and I was just scared and didn't know what to do. That's when I was really confused.
"I just didn't know what to do and couldn't tell anyone, and just had to stay silent. That's when I started withdrawing from everyone. I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
Connell, who worked in a coffee shop in Westerham, progressed to touching Georgia more intimately.
"He touched me for about three or four seconds and then left and went downstairs," she said. "I kind of stood there and froze. I didn't know what had just happened.
"I cried after. I stood there for a good 10 minutes thinking about what had happened and then I cried. I got scared."
She said the behaviour stopped after she told her mother she believed Connell had taken a photo of her with a mobile phone while she was showering.
Mr Connolly told jurors they may think Connell was concerned about what else Georgia would reveal.
Still, the teenager kept her silence about what she claimed had happened.
When she did decide to confide in her mother she sobbed that she would not like what she was going to say.
She continued: “I'm sorry. I didn't want to tell you. It's Brett. He has been doing stuff."
Her mother then video called her husband.
Connell stated he had not touched anyone.
"At that point she had said nothing about alleged touching,” said Mr Connolly. “She called the police."
Connell denied all of the charges.
The jury of nine women and three men reached the guilty verdicts by a majority of 10-2.
He was sentenced to five years for the offences involving Georgia and four years consecutive for the other offences.
An NPSCC spokesperson said: “This is a desperately tragic case which illustrates the devastating effects sexual abuse can have on victims.
“Sadly Georgia is not here today to see Connell pay the price for his abhorrent behaviour. We can only hope that his sentence brings some form of comfort to her loved ones.
“The NSPCC urges anyone who has suffered or is suffering from sexual abuse to break the silence so they can get the help and support they need to overcome their ordeal at the earliest opportunity. You will be listened to and justice can be achieved.”
Anyone who is concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Children and young people can call Childline on 0800 1111 or get help online via www.childline.org.uk
More by this authorKeith Hunt