A son has spoken about rebuilding his life after his adoptive mother was jailed for a decade-long campaign of abuse against him.
Joseph Robinson was just 18 months old when Jean Pamela Robinson, 62, of Belmont Road, Ashton, started a decade long campaign of abuse, which included beatings, being left without toilet facilities and being locked in total darkness.
Joseph, who is now 27 and a father himself, says he is only just starting to rebuild his life now the 62-year-old is starting a 12-month prison term after pleading guilty to two charges of wilful assault.
He said: “It started when I was adopted at 18 months old and went on until I was 11. She did awful things to me, and I used to wonder why she hated me so much.”
Mr Robinson said the abuse all took place in the home he shared with Robinson in Belmont Road.
He said: “She’d lock me in my room with just a mattress on the floor.
“She’d take the lightbulb out of the light so I’d be in total darkness and there weren’t any toilet facilities, so I’d have to go to the toilet in the room. Then she’d beat me for that.
“I used to cry into my pillow, wondering what I’d done to deserve it.”
Joseph said he has been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder that leaves him unable to work, and said it is down to his traumatic upbringing. He also said his experiences have made fatherhood tougher.
He said: “I can’t bear it when my partner tells the children off, even though she is right.
“She says I am way too soft and as I had nothing, I give them too much, but I’m getting there. I often think even my own children don’t like me sometimes because of my low self esteem.”
An investigation into the crimes began in 2011 after Mr Robinson went to police. The abuse took place over a 10-year period between 1988 and 1998.
Police investigating the case said the accounts of abuse and neglect were “deeply moving”.
He said: “At that point I decided I wanted to do something because my life was so affected. I’m on disability benefits, I’ve self-harmed, I’ve been in psychiatric unit and my life is in tatters.
“The whole time she was acting like a pillar of society, and was a member of the local church.”
Robinson was sentenced to 12 months in prison on Tuesday at Preston Crown Court.
Mr Robinson said: “I feel good, I feel that justice has been done, though I’d have liked to have seen a longer sentence.”
Detective Sergeant Jamie Lillystone, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complicated and deeply moving case.
“The victim was a very young, vulnerable child who was systematically abused and neglected over a number of years by his adoptive mother. This has greatly affected the victims life and it is still having an effect today.
“It is a testament to his strength of character that he has persevered with his search for justice. A great number of witnesses also came forward which assisted with the case.
“Although the offences happened many years ago, this sentence will show that the courts take the abuse of vulnerable adults or children very seriously regardless of when or how it occurred”.