A father has been jailed for 20 years after he threatened to dissolve his own daughter in acid if she told anyone he had sexually abused her. Francis Beaumont, 79, a former university lecturer, was convicted of five offences against daughter Kim Chown who has waived her right to anonymity in a bid to encourage other victims of sexual abuse by a parent to come forward.
She suffered years of physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of her father. He started abusing her when they went to live in Kenya, plying her with alcohol, leading to an addiction that took years to overcome. She ended up becoming pregnant twice and had abortions both times despite being on the contraceptive pill. The abuse continued when they returned to Guiseley, near Leeds, and he raped her until she was 20. Jailing him fro five offences in the UK – he could not be sentenced for the crimes committed in Kenya – a judge described the abuse as ‘a campaign of rape’. Kim 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.’
Jailing him at Leeds Crown Court 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. Beaumont threatened to dissolve her body in sulphuric acid or dump her remains in the Kenyan bush if she told anyone. 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.