Depraved Yorkshire lecturer raped daughter from age of 11 and threatened to dissolve her in acid

Francis Beaumont, who raped daughter Kim Chown for years
Francis Beaumont, who raped daughter Kim Chown for years

A depraved father who subjected his teenage daughter to years of humiliating sexual abuse has been brought to justice after more than 30 years.

Former university lecturer Francis Beaumont, 79, was jailed for 20 years after being convicted of five offences of rape against Kim Chown.

Francis Beaumont

Francis Beaumont

Mrs Chown spoke out after her father was jailed in the hope it will encourage other victims of sexual abuse by a parent to come forward.

She told the Yorkshire Post she had chosen to waive her right to anonymity in the hope of becoming an ambassador for victims of similar abuse.

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She said: "I am one of the stronger surviving victims of childhood sexual abuse inflicted by a father of his daughter.

"Not many people in my situation get to this point in their lives.

"Many take it as a secret to their graves, others take their own lives."

'Forced to take contraceptive pill'

Leeds Crown Court heard Mrs Chown, now aged 53, suffered years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of her father.

Jurors were told Beaumont, a university lecturer in histology, began the abuse when he took his daughter to live in Kenya.

Beaumont often plied the youngster with alcohol which led to her battling for years with alcoholism.

Mrs Chown was forced to take the contraceptive pill by her father but twice became pregnant, resulting in her having to have two abortions.

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Beaumont continued to abuse his daughter when they returned to live in Guiseley, Leeds, and raped her up until the age of 20.

Beaumont, of Brackenwood Green, Gledhow, Leeds, was found guilty of five offences of rape in the UK, between 1979 and 1985.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said Beaumont could only be sentenced for offences committed under English law, but described the abuse as "a campaign of rape."

The judge said: "You are an intelligent man and you knew perfectly well what you were doing.

"It was calculated by you to degrade her, to make your own daughter compliant to you and make your own daughter submit to your sexual demands."

Mrs Chown, who gave evidence at the trial, described how she was "petrified" of her father as he threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the abuse.

Threatened to dissolve her body in acid

Beaumont threatened to dissolve her body in sulphuric acid dump her remains in the Kenyan bush if she told anyone.

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She took the threat seriously as she knew he had access to chemicals during the course of his work.

Beaumont also kept a plastic carrier bag under his pillow and threatened to use it to suffocate her.

The jury found Beaumont guilty of a rape offence when his victim was aged 14 and was attending boarding school on the east coast of Yorkshire.

Beaumont went to visit her then took her to a hotel where the sex offences took place.

The final offences took place at his home in Guiseley in 1985.

The trial heard Mrs Chown told her mother, by then estranged from Beaumont, about the abuse in the same year.

A report was made to the police at the time but Beaumont took her to a solicitor and made her sign a retraction.

Mrs Chown found the courage to go to police again in 2015 and report her father.

'He thought I was put on the planet purely for his use. I was a sex object to him'

Mrs Chown provided a victim impact statement to the court ahead of Beaumont's sentencing.

Described by the judge as an "eloquent and moving document", the statement ends:

"You dad, have taken enough of my precious life, I don't hate you but instead I feel sorry for you.

"You are sick, you cannot see that.

"You were loved, you couldn't see that either. Now you have nothing.

"You are a sick, lonely old man who has no friends, no life.

"Your life is empty. Indirectly you have made me the strong person I am today. Although I still stop and question if things could have been different."

Mrs Chown described how she had managed to come to terms with her ordeal thanks to her husband and children.

She said the lies told by her father at the trial had added to her hurt. She said: "I wish to God you were not my father and I not your daughter because I feel ashamed to be associated with you.

"In fact, I have stopped calling you father/dad.

"You are now referred to as 'that monster' because that is the only title you deserve.

"The string of lies that have flowed from your mouth during your police statement and cross-examination have added to my hurt."

She said the abuse had a profound effect on her from the day her father took her virginity at the age of 11.

She said: "He stole my innocence, fun and enjoyment, freedom, peace of mind and security. "I may as well have been chained to my bed as I was not allowed the freedom that every other child of my age had.

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"He went everywhere with me, he kept me away from boys of my own age, vetted my friends, he was always there, always a presence even when I was not directly in his view.

"I was his and his only to do whatever he chose to do, no matter how much it hurt me."

Mrs Chown, a businesswoman now based in County Durham, told the court she was a recovering alcoholic and had been free from drink for 14 months.

She blamed her addiction on the alcohol given to her by her father as a youngster.

"Despite having such a wonderful family of my own and happy memories of the years I have had with my husband seeing our children growing up, there has still been a cloud hanging over me.

"A cloud full of emotional baggage, shame, guilt, confusion, anger, bitterness, despair and sadness.

"I would have flashbacks to the terminations he put me - his little girl - through. I would make myself ill by increasingly drinking to numb the pain."

The court heard the victim had written a letter to him in 2007, explaining how the abuse had made her feel. Beaumont failed to reply to his daughter.

She said: "He has shown no remorse. "I was nothing more than a sex object for him - a thing he could vent his frustrations, anger, sexual desires - no matter how extreme - upon.

"I was not a person, not his daughter. "In his eyes I was put on this planet purely for his use."

How Beaumont was brought to justice

Beaumont lied to police after his arrest then lied again to the jury when he took to the witness box during his trial.

The pensioner initially denied any sexual contact had ever taken place with his daughter when he was first questioned by officers after he was finally arrested in 2015.

By the time of his trial he claimed that they had been in a consensual sexual relationship when she was 17. Beaumont stood in the witness box and claimed his own daughter had "seduced" him.

He also tried to claim he believed Mrs Chown was not his natural daughter.

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Judge Bayliss said: "The jury rejected your claims. "Your daughter had nowhere to turn, she was isolated and afraid of you and by threats of violence and manipulation she remained silent. The judge said Beaumont was now in poor health and it is likely that the 79-year-old will die in custody.

He added: "Those who sexually abuse children must realise, as you now realise, that it will have consequences after it comes to light - even if that reckoning is years and years after the abuse.

"This is a case where your sexual depravity has wrecked a young life. The life of a child who relied on you and loved you as a father. "You are, Mr Beaumont, a manipulative man and a sexual predator.

"Now, after many years, you must finally take the consequences of what you did to your young and vulnerable daughter."