Daisy, now aged 45, was conceived after her father raped her 13-year-old mother back in the mid-1970s. Almost half a century on from the incident, Daisy’s 74-year-old father, Carvel Bennett, has now been sentenced to 11 years in prison, as well being condemned to a lifetime on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
This is the first case of its kind, which reached this end after a decade of her seeking to obtain justice yet being relentlessly ignored and dismissed by the police and other public agencies as a black woman.
“How many people think about whether they would keep a child if they are raped?” Daisy was taken into care days after her mother gave birth. At seven months old, she was adopted into a white family. Reading a statement in court this week, she said: “To know I’m, for some, the embodiment of one of the worst things to happen, to be pregnant by your perpetrator – to find out what happened to my mother – was horrific”.
It was only when she was 18 and read her social services records that she was told she was conceived through rape. “I thought my birth mother wouldn’t want to see me,” Daisy says. “I thought I might be rejected by her. I was on and off searching for her for 18 months. I met her after two years.”
Daisy’s birth mother was just 13 years old when she was born; her birth father was 28. The files from 1975 declare: “The matter was investigated by police but never brought to court.”
Kate Ellis, a solicitor at Centre for Women’s Justice, a leading charity which supported Daisy’s case, said: “We are pleased to see Daisy formally commended today, both by the prosecution and by a Crown Court Judge, for her tireless determination to see justice done, even in the most personally difficult of circumstances. To achieve this outcome both Daisy and her birth mother have overcome extraordinary odds and a series of shocking historic failures by all of the authorities that were supposed to protect them.”
Daisy is now campaigning for women and men who are conceived as a result of rape to be formally recognised as victims of crime so they can receive proper victim support.
SOURCE: The Independent, by Maya Oppenheim, 3 August 2021 ; PHOTO