Shannon Clifton says paedophile rapist dad killed her unborn baby

By Caroline Lowbridge
BBC News

image copyrightShannon Clifton
image captionShane Clifton was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 10 years for repeatedly raping Shannon

A woman repeatedly raped by her father as a girl wants him to be prosecuted for killing their unborn child.

Shannon Clifton, who miscarried after being kicked in the stomach, suspects her father buried the baby and wants police to dig up their old garden.

Shane Clifton is already in prison for raping his daughter, who gave birth to another child by him when she was 14.

Derbyshire Police told the BBC it had spoken to Shannon, who is now 19, and was making "further inquiries".

"He basically beat me to the point where I didn't have a baby inside me anymore," said Shannon.

She was 11 when her father first made her pregnant and believes he may have buried the foetus because a neighbour reported him digging a hole in the garden of their home in Chaddesden, Derby.

"I lost my baby and I almost died myself," she said.

"He didn't want the baby. In his eyes he was lucky he had got rid of it and he could carry on with the life he was living and what he was doing to me."

image captionShannon Clifton, now 19, wants her father to be prosecuted for more offences

Shannon is now rebuilding her life, having written a book about her experiences and started a degree in forensic psychology.

However, she said she was worried what her dad would do to her when he got out of prison, and hoped he would be jailed for longer if he was prosecuted for more offences.

"My dad had tried pretty much murdering me a number of times," she said.

"What's going to stop him from hurting me again, and this time maybe doing worse than what he did before?"

He has already had convictions for violence, including being jailed for more than two years for attacking a woman. He dragged his victim to the ground by her hair, kicked her repeatedly in the head and then stamped on her head while she was unconscious. He attacked her again after being released.

Why was Shannon's father jailed?

image copyrightShannon Clifton
image captionShane Clifton admitted raping his daughter from the age of 10 - but she says the sexual abuse started four years earlier

Shannon gave birth to a boy in October 2014 and DNA tests proved the father was her own dad.

Shane Clifton, then 32, pleaded guilty to raping her from the ages of 10 to 14 at Derby Crown Court in March 2015.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years but this was amended to 10 years as the judge gave him credit for pleading guilty.

Clifton then tried to appeal against his sentence to get it reduced even further but the appeal was refused in November 2015.

What else does Shannon want him prosecuted for?

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionShannon said her father made her pregnant three times when she was still a child

Shannon said her father made her pregnant three times in total, the first time when she was 11 and lost the baby at about 28 weeks when he assaulted her.

She says her father intentionally killed the foetus and while he could not legally be charged with murder under English law as the baby had not been born, he could potentially be charged with child destruction.

The second time was when she was 12 and had a miscarriage. On the third occasion Shannon was 13 when she became pregnant and gave birth to a boy after she turned 14. She looked after her son for a while but has since had him adopted because she wanted him to have a better life.

Shannon said her father came close to killing her several times and she would like him prosecuted for his violent attacks on her and for further rapes, which she said started when she was just six years old.

"My dad took my childhood away and even though he's not here now he still ruins my life," she said.

"It affects you for a lifetime. You might get counselling, you might get the help that you need to move on from it but you don't ever forget it and you don't completely move on from what's happened in your life. It's still always there."

Derbyshire Police said in a statement: "Specialist officers from the force's public protection team have spoken with Miss Clifton and further enquiries are now taking place."

Anyone with information can contact police on 101.

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