Monday, August 6, 2007

The Truth Is Out at Last for Heraldine Higson

'Monster froze my childhood in time' article by Helen Tither

IN her satin dress, dainty gloves and lace veil, the young girl in the photo looks every inch a princess.

It is such a picture of sweetness and innocence that for weeks the framed portrait graced the window of the photographer's shop in Salford for passers-by to admire.

Nobody could have guessed the truth behind the photograph of nine-year-old Geraldine Sealy (now Higson). Behind the happy smile lay a dark secret of abuse. She didn't tell anybody - for more than 40 years.Geraldine, 51, says: "It was a beautiful dress, I remember, of duck egg blue with fingerless lace gloves.

It was for the May Day Crowning of Our Lady so mum splashed out. I felt like a princess."That was one of my last happy memories. My childhood was frozen at that point."

It was around that time, in the mid-1960s, that nine-year-old Geraldine was first abused by Benjamin Williamson. It was the start of a prolonged series of attacks that would go on for many years.

"I was reading a comic on top of my bed and suddenly I felt him on top of me. I thought he was cuddling me - although it wasn't in his nature. But it didn't feel like a cuddle. I was too young to know what was happening, it was a terrible shock.

But the sight of Williamson near other young children made her wonder whether he would abuse again."I saw him with this little girl, she was such a pretty little thing. It just hit me - what if she gets in trouble with him? I would never forgive myself.

Now I am hoping I can move on, heal and be happy knowing that the truth is out at last. I wanted justice for me - and for that little girl in that May Day picture. "She didn't deserve what happened to her. I have served my sentence, now it's his turn."

Abridged for E.A. read it all here >>


Thank You Geraldine for having the courage to come out with the story and fight for the truth. You could have let 'sleeping dogs lie' but you took the high road and did what had to be done, I can imagine the discomfort this brought on your family, yet the world is a better place because you exposed this monster.

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