A man who was sexually abused as a child but kept it secret for more than a decade has called on other survivors to speak out.

The victim made the plea after his abuser Shane Redman, 31, from Southwick, was jailed for seven years last week, as reported in The Argus.

Supermarket worker Redman, who was 16 to 18 when the offences occurred between 2002 and 2005 in Southwick, was found guilty by a jury of attempted rape and four counts of gross indecency with a boy under 16.

His victim, who was younger than Redman, kept his traumatic experiences to himself until he told his girlfriend ten years later in a move that would help put his life back on track.

Speaking to The Argus the victim, who we will call Adam, said: “I would say tell someone and don’t leave it so long because now I feel so much better in myself.

“It is hard at first, but it means in the future you will not have to hold on to it and have the problems that I have had.”

It was those problems that finally led to Adam opening up.

“It was not until the last incident when Redman attempted to rape me that I realised what was going on –that was the most traumatic experience and it broke me.

“I was so scared and I could not sleep round any of my friends’ houses and became a hermit.

“Eventually a decade later it all came back really strong. I was worried my girlfriend had a sexually transmitted infection but I knew she didn’t as she had all the tests, it was due to the Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) I picked up following the abuse.

I felt I had to tell her, it was hard, but I did.”

It was another two years before Redman’s victim found the courage to tell his parents, who were distraught, and helped him report the matter to the police in 2016.

Redman first appeared in court in 2017, more than a decade after the offences he committed.

But he denied the charges, forcing his victim, who had previously been driven to the brink of suicide over the abuse, to go through the ordeal of reliving it in court and being cross-examined by a defence barrister.

Adam said: “He pleaded not guilty which I was very angry about.

“I thought he should have owned up.

“I had to go to court to give evidence and then I was questioned by his defence barrister.”

A jury eventually found Redman had groomed Adam and persuaded him to perform sexual acts and on one occasion attempting to rape him.

Adam said: “I was so happy when he was found guilty.

“I did not think it would be such a big relief but it was and made such a difference to my OCD.

“I was very happy because the jury believed me.”

The conviction was also a big relief for Adam’s family who had known Redman during the 12 years they were in the dark about the abuse.

Adam said: “I got very depressed and had to quit a job after only a couple of months.

“I always wanted to say to him why did he do it? And because of my OCD I wanted to ask if he had a sexually transmitted infection.”

Redman was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court last week, watched by Adam and his family.

Judge Charles Kemp said Redman, who had come out as gay as a teen, saw his victim as an “easy target and outlet for his sexual urges”.

Redman was convicted of one count of attempted rape of a boy and four of gross indecency with a boy under 16.

He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for attempted rape and three years for each gross indecency counts, to run at the same time.

Adam added: “Now I feel like I can move forward, even though it will still be there and I still get depressed. But it feels like the start of a new life.”

Detective Constable Natalie Freeman said: “This case is a reminder that we will always take seriously and investigate all such allegations, however long ago they are said to have happened.

“Sources for advice and support over child sexual abuse can be reached by visiting www.sussex.police.uk/cse.”