I felt stupid, says church abuse victim '“ '˜a man of 62 crying like a baby'

ABUSE victim Roy Blanchard told The Yorkshire Post how he still vividly recalls the terror of being relentlessly targeted by his abuser more than 50 years after he has finally been brought to justice.

Kenneth Endersby.

He said: “He operated at will under that cloak of respectability.

“I was totally repulsed by him. It was awful. I can still remember the churning in my stomach the very first time he attacked me in the vestry. But I felt powerless to stop him. My biggest fear was always if anyone found out.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Endersby always told me I would go to Armley jail for seven years and he would say ‘of course, I won’t go to prison, I know a lot of people who will look after me.’”

Abuse victim Roy Blanchard, 64

Mr Blanchard said Endersby was so determined to abuse him that he even found out his parents’ work patterns and would target him in his own home.

“The abuse was happening around the time of the Moors Murders and whenever he took me out in his car and drove to a field I always thought ‘am I going to be one of them. He could strangle me here and bury me anywhere and nobody would know’. That sort of terror all went to complete the grooming process. It carried on relentlessly.

Abuse victim Roy Blanchard, 64

“The trauma of the abuse absolutely crushed me. My school work suffered and I can clearly remember sitting in my exams and not being able to concentrate.”

Mr Blanchard said he struggled with alcoholism for many years after the abuse.

“It is not just the abuse – that is bad enough – but it is life after the abuse and how it affects you, especially when you have been cursed and damned to hell by a clergyman on top of that.

“It destroyed my future.

“I feel bitter that I lost some of the best years of my life. Going through my adolescence and finding things out about myself was all sullied by what happened to me.

“I am very bitter about Raymond Ward’s response.”

Mr Blanchard, who now lives in Holbeck, said he decided to report the abuse after he returned to live in West Yorkshire three years ago and discovered that Endersby was still the organist at the church.

He said: “I rang the NSPCC who are well trained in these matters but you can also have faith in picking up the phone and ringing the police.

“They were absolutely brilliant, so supportive and caring. I felt stupid at first – a 62-year-old man and I was crying like a baby.”

Mr Blanchard said he did not have any animosity towards anyone else connected with the church. He added: “I intend to write to the current vicar at St Stephen’s. It must be distressing for the congregation who put their trust into Kenneth Endersby. I would like them to show some compassion and support towards Mrs Endersby and his family.”