100 year nonce

Granddaughter who was sexually abused aged just five reveals why her grandfather’s 100th birthday party made her bring him to justice

  • Nicole Caroli, 46, reported Douglas Hammersley to police before his 100th bash
  • But when she saw pictures of him raising a pint, she said she felt ‘physically sick’
  • Hammersley, now 102, was given a suspended sentence and forced to pay £25k 

A woman who was sexually abused by her grandfather when she was just five has revealed her sense of disgust at seeing him praised on his 100th birthday.

Nicole Caroli, 46, had already reported Douglas Hammersley to the police when he was photographed raising a pint of beer in a Surrey pub to celebrate reaching a century.

But she said seeing people praise her grandfather as a ‘lovely person’ and a ‘gentleman’ made her feel ‘physically sick’.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, she explained: ‘I couldn’t bear the idea of everyone standing around, saying how wonderful he was, when the truth was so different.’

Nicole Caroli was sexually abused by her grandfather when she was just five

Nicole said she decided to report Hammersley when she got wind the party was being planned at the local he'd drunk at for 70 years

Nicole Caroli (left) was sexually abused by her grandfather Douglas Hammersley when she was just five

Nicole said she decided to report Hammersley when she got wind the party was being planned at the local he’d drunk at for 70 years.

Hammersley, now 102, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence in September, placed on the sex offender register and ordered to pay £25,000 compensation after being taken to court over the abuse.

Earlier in his life, when Nicole was just five, the former Second World War telephone engineer Hammersley would creep into his granddaughter’s room and ‘slip his hands into [her] pants’.

Nicole explained: ‘He’d touch me as we watched TV, or he’d come into my room to find me. I even tried to hide under a bed but I couldn’t squeeze in.’

She added: ‘After he’d finished he’d always say the same thing, “Don’t tell your Nana”. I didn’t dare say a word to anyone as I thought I was the one in the wrong.’

In a heartbreaking interview, Nicole said she remembers brushing her teeth every time she thought of him, ‘trying to get the taste of him out of my mouth’.

She is hoping to raise awareness for the NSPCC’s Light Up Christmas For Children campaign.

The charity is hoping to raise enough cash to pay for Childline counsellors to help answer a child’s call.

Hammersley, now 102, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence in September

Nicole said she decided to report Hammersley when she got wind the party was being planned at the local he'd drunk at for 70 years

Ms Caroli had already reported Douglas (right) to the police when he was photographed raising a pint of beer in a Surrey pub to celebrate reaching a century (left).

Nicole said that when she revealed the truth of what happened to her grandmother – when she was in her 20s – it destroyed their relationship.

Her motivation for revealing her secret came after she heard Hammersley was visiting the young children of a family friend.

When her grandmother died – the relationship still in pieces – she dodged family events, until hearing about Hammersley’s 100th birthday plans.

She said she was worried he would die before seeing justice.

Hammersley eventually admitted three counts of indecent assault at Aylesbury Crown Court.

Judge Sheridan told her at the time: ‘You are a brave woman and I applaud your determination to get justice.

‘I hope now you can leave feeling that ultimately you have been vindicated for persevering and hope you have seen justice done.’

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