A FATHER who told his daughter that it was his duty to ‘break her in’ before raping her over a three-year period in the 1980s has been found guilty of 15 charges following a two-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Elliot Appleyard, 70, of Gilthwaites Crescent, Denby Dale was behind bars last night, remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing which takes place today.

He continued to maintain his innocence throughout the trial which ended yesterday.

He denied five counts of rape and ten counts of indecent assault which took place between April 1982 and April 1985 and involved his daughter, Carol, now 49.

Shouts of ‘paedophile’ rang out from the public gallery yesterday after a jury found him guilty of all counts.

Carol chose to waive the anonymity automatically granted in sexual offence cases in a bid to raise awareness of sexual abuse.

Had she not waived this legal right, the Chronicle would have been unable to reveal that Appleyard’s victim was his own daughter.

On Wednesday, Thomas Storey, defending, told the jury Appleyard continued to deny his daughter’s claims and said they should not deliver a guilty verdict if there was a ‘shred of doubt’ in their mind.

“From the outset, witness after witness have appeared but what it boils down to is one person’s word, the complainant, against another, who in this case is Mr Appleyard,” Mr Storey said.

“His evidence is simple and he says the alleged abuse simply did not happen. There is, in fact, real room for doubt in believing the complainant’s account and this must be weighed in Mr Appleyard’s favour.”

The jury heard in the trial that Appleyard raped his daughter at home in his bed, kitchen and living room, and on another occasion in a ferry’s cabin on the way to Sweden.

He ‘ruled the household through violence’ and threats of beatings, according to prosecutor Peter Hampton, who said he took Carol to a tattoo parlour in Barnsley to have his nickname Sam imprinted on her shoulder.

As well as this, he put his ex-wife’s engagement ring on his daughter’s finger which Carol said was an attempt to turn her into ‘a wife’.

“I didn’t know what to do with the situation I was in,” Carol told the jury.

“I’ve never been able to move on from this I was a child who was threatened with going to a kids’ home if I didn’t comply.

“I wanted to be normal but these incidents happened three or four times every single week. I was treated like his wife and given my mum’s old engagement ring.

“I’m mad at myself for not doing anything about it, I should have kicked and screamed, but I had two voices in my head as he threatened me with going into care so I did as he said.

“I felt like a slag but I never, ever felt pleasure. I felt bruised and hurt but it became normal and routine to please him because of the physical and mental abuse.”

Carol had initially complained to police about her father then she was 15. But the case was only finally reopened in 2015 after Carol had fought for 30 years for justice.

Following a lengthy period of investigation by police, and a two-week trial, it took the jury just two hours yesterday to decide on verdicts in all 15 charges against Appleyard.

He will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court this morning.

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