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A TRAUMATISED grandson who was molested as a child by his paedophile grandad Leonard Smith says: "I hope he rots in his cell."
Speaking exclusively to News Shopper, Kevin Smith has bravely told of how he was sexually abused from the age of 12 for four years at the hands of his grandfather.
He was just one of eight innocent young victims sexually abused by Smith and he hopes his story will encourage others who have suffered sexual abuse to come forward.
Waiving his right to anonymity, 25-year-old Kevin revealed the catalogue of abuse which ultimately led him to try and take his own life as a teenager and told how:
Smith brazenly abused him under the nose of his family at his former home in Stanstead Road, Lewisham
Touched him up in public toilets in a cafe in Lee and a pub in New Cross
And would dress up as Santa Claus and sit youngsters on his knee at the former North Cray Social Club in Bexley.
Speaking from his current family home in Oakdene Road, Orpington, Kevin said: "This man has turned my life upside down.
"At first I thought what he was doing was normal. I thought every grandad touched up their grandsons.
"He told me I was his special friend and when he touched me he told me to imagine being with a sexy woman."
Kevin says he was first abused by Smith on Boxing Day 1993 at the family home in Lewisham.
Leonard Smith, jailed for eight-and-a-half years
He said: "My mum, dad and nan were waving people off at the front door. I was sat on his knee and he put his hands down my trousers.
"When he heard them coming back, he whipped his hand out as quickly as possible."
From then on Kevin says his grandad, who worked as a mechanic, became very calculating as he continued to abuse him.
Kevin said: "He would make excuses to come into my room, telling everyone he was going to play computer games with me.
"But we didn't play computer games at all."
The former pupil of Crofton Secondary School in Manwood Road, Brockley, says the abuse became more aggressive as he got older.
He says the unrelenting molesting and bullying at school led him to attempt to take his own life when he was aged around 13: "I became sick to the stomach when I saw him, but felt powerless to stop what he was doing to me.
"One day I tried to hang myself in my bedroom using a dressing gown chord. The rope broke free from my wardrobe so it didn't work, but I went blue and passed out."
For years the sordid details of Smith's abuse were kept secret by his string of victims and when Kevin's grandmother Joan died of heart failure when he was 16, he saw much less of Smith.
Assistant manager Kevin, who works for the British School of Motoring office in Streatham, south London, was first to come forward after he told his fiancee Dawn Healey about the abuse in January last year.
The last time he saw Smith was at his engagement party the following month where Smith made his final pass.
Kevin said: "I didn't want him to come, but as my parents still didn't know I had no choice but to invite him."At first I thought what he was doing was normal. I thought every grandad touched up their grandsons."
"He came up to me at one point in the night and whispered in my ear, Do you want to go upstairs and relive old times?'
"It made me feel sick and I felt like punching him, but I firmly said No' and turned away."
When Kevin told his parents the truth about Smith in March last year he says it rocked the family to the core.
Kevin's dad Mick, 54, said: "When I found out what my dad had done, you could have hit me with a sledgehammer and I wouldn't have noticed.
"It totally floored me. I couldn't believe it. My dad was always a popular man. Now looking back we know his love of kids was not innocent, like we thought it was.
"He used to dress up as Santa Claus, do magic tricks and generally be the life and soul of the party."
Smith was first arrested at his home in the Isle of Grain, north Kent, in April last year and questioned over some of the allegations.
He was then arrested again in October to face further questions as more victims began to come forward.
Incredibly, he was released on bail both times and was even pictured speaking to young children outside his home by a national newspaper.
The family have not been in touch with Smith since the shocking revelations about his past came out in March last year.
Kevin's mother Lynne says she doesn't believe Smith feels any remorse.
She said: "His defence in court said he is sorry for the distress he caused, but not once has he attempted to apologise. Not once did he look at his victims sat in the public gallery to mouth the word sorry'."
Smith originally pleaded not guilty when he appeared at Greenwich Magistrates' Court on November 4 last year.
But he then pleaded guilty to 17 of the 25 charges at a later hearing on July 21 at Woolwich Crown Court.
Mick Smith added: "Plea bargaining has gone and it's clear to us he's only changed his plea in order to look more favourable to the judge. Essentially to try and save his own skin, and not for thought of his victims."
Since coming forward and telling police, Kevin has endured a 20-month ordeal of police interviews and court cases, which have often been re-scheduled at the last minute, prolonging the pain of those who Smith abused.
Speaking outside court following the sentencing, Kevin says he finally feels a sense of closure and now hopes, through more counselling and support, to move on with his life.
Before jailing Smith, Judge Michael Carroll sent out a stark message saying a custodial sentence was the best way to punish what he described as "seasoned paedophiles", as opposed to rehabilitation.
He told Smith how he had abused his position as a grandfather before finally sending him down.
He added: "It is my fervent hope you will not be considered for release on parole until you have served at least two-thirds of your sentence."
More on Leonard Smith's years of child abuse - click here