'No kettle or curtains and the wrong diet:' Wife of convicted paedophile says 'ill-treatment' at Doncaster Prison led to his suicide attempt

Convicted paedophile Stephen Tilley, who is serving 12 years at Doncaster Prison, tried to kill himself earlier this week.
Convicted paedophile Stephen Tilley, who is serving 12 years at Doncaster Prison, tried to kill himself earlier this week.

The wife of a convicted paedophile jailed for sexually abusing children as young as six has said his 'ill-treatment' at a Doncaster jail has led to him making a suicide attempt.

Stephen Tilley, 69, who is serving a 12-year sentence at HMP Doncaster for offences including attempted rape and indecent assault, tried to kill himself earlier this week by attempting to throw himself off a balcony at the Marshgate jail.

Doncaster Prison, where Tilley is serving his sentence.

Doncaster Prison, where Tilley is serving his sentence.

And his wife Sandra has said that the bid to end his life came after a 'nightmare' time at the jail - which she says includes him having no kettle, curtains or wardrobe in his cell and being fed the wrong diet.

She said: "He's not getting the right food in there and they are not looking after him. He's being treated like a piece of dirt. He's at the end of his tether. It's ill-treatment. He's having an absolute nightmare of a time."

Tilley, 69, was convicted in 2015 after he was found guilty at Leicester Crown Court of committing the offences between 1991 and 2012 when the two female victims were aged between six and 13 years old.

At his trial, a jury found Tilley guilty of two counts of indecent assault, two counts of indecent assault on a child, attempted rape on a girl under 13-years-old and sexual assault on a female under 13-years-old.

However, Mrs Tilley of Ryhall, Rutland, is standing by her husband who has been at Doncaster Prison since last December and who suffers from coeliac disease.

She said: "He's meant to be on a coeliac diet but they aren't giving him the right food. We've complained and complained, but nothing ever happens.

"He's been complaining of stomach pains because they aren't giving him the right food and they don't care.

"This week was the final straw. They moved him from his cell to one with no kettle, no curtains and nowhere to put his clothes. He's kept locked up all the time and he's had enough."

Mrs Tilley said that her husband placed a chair on a prison balcony and attempted to commit suicide by throwing himself over the side - but was stopped by two prison guards and taken back to his cell.

"He really is desperate," she said. "He's going from bad to worse. We know he's not guilty and we're fighting it but he really is being treated like a piece of dirt in there."

At the time of the trial, one of Tilley’s victims, decided to speak out in the hope it would encourage other victims to have the confidence to come forward.

Her name cannot be published for legal reasons.

She said: “If this is happening to you, you must tell someone. It is not right.

"Whatever your abuser is telling you, it is not right and it is them that is in the wrong.

“I have had to learn to deal with it in my own way. He started abusing me when I was between six and eight-years-old and I did not speak out until 2011.

"I thought, ‘now is the time for me to say something or he will get away with it’.

“I want to encourage people who find themselves in a similar situation to speak out and contact the police so the offender can be punished.”

Judge Simon Hammond praised the victims for their “courage and dignity” at Tilley's trial and said “They’ve both been believed.

“The courts have duty to protect young people from sexual predators. He’s ruined their childhood and robbed them of their innocence – he’s a wicked man.”

Detective Sergeant Dave Speight, from the serious crime and safeguarding team of Leicestershire Police, said: “These incidents took place over a long period of time, some of them many years ago, but finally justice has been seen to be done.

“I would like to praise the victims for the bravery they have shown throughout the investigation and subsequent trial.

"I know it cannot have been easy for them to come forward and make the initial report to police, and from there they have had to relive some of the events they would rather have forgotten from their childhoods.

“Throughout they have acted with the upmost dignity and showed immense courage.

“Leicestershire Police encourages victims to come forward and report incidents of sexual abuse, and feel confident that no matter how long ago the incident may have taken place, it will be thoroughly investigated.

“There is a possibility that there are other people out there who have been a victim of Tilley. Please, if you think this could be you, get in touch with us. “We have specialist officers and access to a number of support agencies who can help victims.” Anyone who may have been a victim is asked to call police on 101.

A spokesman for Doncaster Prison said: “All prisoners at HMP Doncaster are housed in decent and safe accommodation and we will always cater for special dietary needs on request. We are providing a range of gluten free menu options and we do not recognise these claims.”