A WOMAN has been ordered to pay £35,000 in damages to her late mum’s partner who sexually abused her for a decade.
Kirsty Easthope, 52, must pay out after losing her court fight to stop abuser Arthur Hepple, now 84, from returning to the family home after he was released from prison.
Hepple was given a suspended prison sentence in 2014 and put on the sex offenders register for abusing her.
He was then jailed for another sex attack on a woman and her teenage daughter in 2017.
But Kirsty’s mum Irma Barnett wrote her will and died before his crimes were uncovered. It stated that he should be allowed to stay in her property after her death.
She had rented out the property while he was behind bars then refused to let him back in. But he turned down separate accommodation she offered him and a judge ruled in his favour at Leeds county court..
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Kirsty said: "It's all just devastating. He just wants to cause me as much hurt as possible."
She added: "I don't understand how he doesn't feel ashamed and how he can want to go back and live where he isn't welcome.
"I have been a victim throughout all of this but there has been no compensation for my suffering but catastrophic financial consequences, and my mental health has suffered immensely.
"I've felt so devastated and hopeless that at times I felt life wasn't worth living.
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"With no remorse for his crimes, including the mental and physical anguish he had put me and my daughter through, he decided to take me to court.
"I was totally distressed, unable to sleep or eat.
"Had my mum known of Hepple's actions, I fully believe she would have changed her will and removed him from her home."
Following the case, she also faces a total bill of more than £100,000 after paying Hepple's £61,000 legal costs and her own fees of £40,000.
Hepple first started assaulting Kirsty after her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2003 so she never knew that her own daughter was being abused.
Kirsty never reported him as she feared the police wouldn't take her seriously and thought they would have 'laughed her out of the building' if she did try.
But Hepple then let himself into Kirsty's house in 2013 and assaulted her daughter by sneaking up on her when she got out of the shower and tried to pull a towel off her.
Kirsty's dad Alan Barnett and Irma purchased the three-bedroom property in 1983, but Alan sadly died at the age of 71 in 1996.
Irma then met Hepple through friends and introduced him to Kirsty in 1998, before he moved into the bungalow in 1999.
Kirsty said that her mum and Hepple were a normal couple and often went on holidays and out for meals together.
Kirsty said: "I don't know what gives these evil men the gift of a long life.
"My dad died and never saw his grandchildren grow up but he was such a good man.
"He worked hard all of his life and didn't drive so battled on his bike in all weathers to go to work to provide a nice home.
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"He hated paedophiles and now he has got one living in it after everything he worked for and it's just wrong."
The mum-of-three's family and friends have rallied around her and have even set up a Go Fund Me page to help Kirsty raise the money she needs.
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