A man who was sexually abused as a child and who waited 40 years for justice says his attacker has not broken him.

Stephen Lewsey, from Burgess Hill, says he is sleeping better, is less angry and no longer feels ashamed after paedophile Glenn Langrish was put behind bars for 15 years.

The father of five has waived his right to lifetime anonymity to encourage other victims of sexual offences to speak out.

Langrish, now Stephens, befriended Mr Lewsey, then aged ten, over a shortwave CB radio in 1983.

He started his sustained and prolonged abuse of Mr Lewsey after giving him a job at the lawnmower shop he worked at in Crawley.

Over the several years, Langrish, now 74, sexually assaulted Mr Lewsey every time he worked at the shop and when he was giving him a lift home.

Mr Lewsey kept what happened to him a secret for years because he felt embarrassed and blamed himself for Langrish’s actions.

The Argus: Stephen with his wife CathyStephen with his wife Cathy (Image: PA)

He eventually confided in his wife Cathy in 2011 while they were watching television.

“We were watching a TV programme and something happened in the programme that made me say something like ‘I know how they feel’,” he said.

“It was an off the cuff comment and my wife asked ‘what do you mean?’.

“So I told my wife and we contacted the police.”

The 51-year-old said he felt relief telling his wife but said it has had a huge impact on his family, who have supported him all the way.

“This guy had been to my mum and stepdad’s wedding reception,” said Mr Lewsey.

“They didn’t suspect anything and they blame themselves.

“This is going to impact my children, my name’s out there now.

“It was a relief; it was tough, but it needed to be done.

“People have asked ‘why have you left it so long?’ I was embarrassed, ashamed, I blamed myself.

“I’ve had people ask me ‘why are you reporting it now after so long?’

“Because it is wrong.”

The Argus: Mr Lewsey said speaking out has been cathartic Mr Lewsey said speaking out has been cathartic (Image: PA)

Langrish had been convicted before in the 70s and 80s for sexually assaulting young boys including when he was a football coach.

Langrish moved to Sweden on his release from prison in 1994 after he served time for the unrelated child sex offences.

It was at this time he changed his name to Glenn Stephens.

Once Mr Lewsey reported the abuse to Sussex Police an international search began.

Mr Lewsey was instrumental in tracking Langrish down.

“I managed to trace him through Facebook,” he said.

“I engaged him in a conversation to establish it was the same person.

“The police had access to my Facebook for his protection and my protection.

“Once I established it was him and he was living in Sweden I passed that on to police.”

In 2016, Langrish was interviewed by Swedish police, but as a Swedish citizen he was protected from extradition back to the United Kingdom.

An international warrant was issued for his arrest should he leave Sweden and, in May 2023, Sussex Police were alerted by the National Crime Agency that Langrish was in Poland.

When Mr Lewsey was told by Sussex Police there was an update in the case last year, he thought at first Langrish had died.

The Argus: Stephen Lewsey, with Detective Sergeant Becki BuckleyStephen Lewsey, with Detective Sergeant Becki Buckley (Image: PA)

“I said to my wife I reckon he’s dead,” he said.

“I don’t know how I would have handled that.

“Because I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the eye and get my day in court.

“But at least he’d be gone.”

Mr Lewsey said he was “over the moon” when he was then told Langrish had been arrested.

He said there were many times during the long process that he wanted to give up and move on with his life but Sussex Police and Cathy told him to “stick with it”.

Langrish was brought back from Poland by the Metropolitan Police’s extradition team on July 5, 2023, and taken into custody at Heathrow Airport the same day.

Langrish was charged with four counts of indecency with a child and four counts of indecent assault on a child.

The Argus: Mr Lewsey was over the moon with Langrish's sentenceMr Lewsey was over the moon with Langrish's sentence (Image: PA)

He was found guilty on all eight counts at Chichester Crown Court after a jury returned their unanimous verdict within an hour and a half.

Mr Lewsey said it was important for him to face Langrish in court and show him he was “mentally strong”.

“Giving evidence was tough but I did it and I made sure to look at him the entire time,” said Mr Lewsey.

“He tried to position himself so he couldn’t see me.

“He was accused of heinous crimes and he showed no emotion.

“I didn’t have to sit through the entire case but I wanted to see it all through.

“When the jury returned their verdict after an hour and a half I was so surprised.

“I cried.

“I wept because it was such a relief that they believed me.

“I thanked them all.

“I felt huge elation that I had been believed.”

At Hove Crown Court on February 2 Langrish was sentenced to 15 years in prison with another three to be spent on licence.

He was told he must serve a minimum of nine years and eight months of his custodial sentence before he is eligible for parole.

“I’m over the moon with the sentence,” said Mr Lewsey.

“I’d almost convinced myself he was going to walk out a free man.”

Mr Lewsey, who works as a bus driver for an airport company, is now going to start counselling.

“I’ve acknowledged that I need counselling and I do need support,” he said.

“Straight away after the case, even before the sentencing, I noticed a difference in me.

“I was able to sleep better, I was not so aggravated and getting cross at the slightest thing.

“I’m calmer within my own head.”

The Argus: Mr Lewsey has waived his lifetime anonymityMr Lewsey has waived his lifetime anonymity (Image: PA)

Mr Lewsey now wants to encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward no matter how long has passed since the offence.

He also believes there are other victims of Langrish who have not yet spoken out.

“There will be more out there,” he said.

“These people shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets and as victims we’ve got to show that they haven’t broken us.

“Don’t let them break you.

“We’re bigger and stronger than them.

“The police listened to me, they’ll take you seriously and they will follow it through.

“It’s not easy but it’s easier than what you’ve been through.”