He treated me like his wife’: Teenager who was raped four times a day for eight years by binman father and gave birth to his baby may flee home before he is released from prison after his sentence is reduced
Shannon Clifton, 19, suffered years of abuse at the hands of her father Shane Ray Clifton, 36. He was jailed for 15 years when she was aged 14 but has now had his sentence reduced. The teenager hopes to move abroad to start a new life saying living in Derby ‘brings back too much’
A teenager who was repeatedly raped by her binman father and even gave birth to his child is to flee her home after his prison sentence was reduced.
Shannon Clifton, 19, is trying to piece her life back together after suffering horrific treatment at the hands of her father, Shane Ray Clifton, until the age of 14.
The student was raped up to four times a day and, at the age of 13, gave birth to her father’s child, who was later adopted.
The horrific abuse eventually came to an end when Clifton, 36, was jailed for 15 years.
But Shannon later found out his sentence had been reduced to 10 years and now says she wants to flee Derby before the monster is released from jail.
Shannon, who grew up in Chaddesden, a suburb of Derby, said she went to live with her father, aged five, when her parents split up.
She said: ‘It was nice at first but he started getting abusive. I would come home from school and he started to hit me. I just got used to it in the end.
‘The first time it happened was when we moved into a flat near Elvaston Castle.
‘It started becoming sexual. There was one time in the front room on the floor. I’ve tried to block it out so I don’t remember it all.’
Shannon was a pupil at Breadsall Hill Top School, Derby at the time.
She said she used to go to school ‘with bruises all over’ but was instructed to tell teachers she had been play fighting with her cousins.
After a period of time, Shannon and her father moved back to Chaddesden.
Shannon said: ‘That’s when everything started getting worse. It was becoming more regular.
‘When I was younger it was just once or twice here and there but then it started becoming every day, then a few times a day.’
Paedophile Shane Ray Clifton (pictured with his daughter) first raped his daughter when she was just six on the living room floor. And when Shannon was 11, he got her pregnant but battered her unconscious and she lost the baby
Shannon said she was often raped before and after school and sometimes in the middle of the night.
She said: ‘I only understood what sex was when I was about nine and we were learning about it at school.
‘I remember the first time we were taught sex education, my teacher told us “nobody should touch you in these places”.
‘I was shocked because I thought, that’s what my dad does to me.’
Shannon said her father treated her as his wife. He regularly asked her to clean the house and make his dinner from the age of nine.
When Shannon was 11, she noticed her body starting to change and realised she was pregnant.
She said: ‘For a while I didn’t tell him. But when I did finally tell him, he beat me up.
‘It was all really confusing, I was a child carrying a child.’
She worked out that she was around 28 weeks pregnant when she lost the baby.
In December 2012, Shannon became pregnant again.
She said she wasn’t surprised she lost the baby ‘because of the things I was going through’.
Shannon said when she was 12 she told a teacher at school and a social worker that her father had broken her nose.
She said: ‘They took me away for one night and then the next day I went straight back to him.
‘They didn’t do anything about it, so I thought there’s no point in telling people anything.
‘I put myself in more danger by telling them. I was too scared.’
Shannon said summer was the worst time because her father would rape her outside the house.
She said: ‘He used to take me out and do it in fields and woods.
‘At night, if he had been drinking at a family thing, on the way home he would do it in an alleyway.
‘I tried to fight back but I used to get hurt more. It was easier not to do anything. I thought it was going to last forever.’
When Shannon turned 13, she found out she was pregnant again but twisted Clifton (pictured) Googled ways to make her miscarry and forced her to do dangerous exercise routines
Shannon desperately pleaded with her father for the abuse to end.
She said: ‘He used to say “I’m not going to do it again, I promise you. I’m really sorry, I will get better.”
‘Then give it an hour and he would be at it again.’
In 2013 Shannon was pregnant again with her third baby.
She was at The Kingsmead School and her father used to stand outside the school grounds and ‘watch all the time’.
She said things came to a head at the end of her pregnancy, at which point she was a pupil at West Park Academy.
Shannon said: ‘He had just raped me upstairs and I was screaming and crying.
‘I ran downstairs and I got a big knife and thought, if I stab myself straight in the heart the baby won’t die, and I don’t have to put up with this anymore.
‘But I needed to be there for my child. If it was a girl, he could’ve ran off with her too.’
She said he still abused her throughout the pregnancy but would not let her go to hospital.
But teachers noticed a week before she gave birth and social care workers at the police turned up at her school.
But Clifton was not arrested and went off on the run with Shannon for a week.
Her father told her when the baby was born, he would kill him.
At the end of the week, they went to DW Fitness in Pride Park to change clothes when a member of the public spotted Shannon and called the police.
Shannon (pictured) is now studying forensic psychology with the Open University and planning to release her book, The Monster I Loved, before the end of the year
Shannon said: ‘It was hard, because that was the last time I ever saw my father, and I think I knew that.
‘Even though he did everything that he did, he was the only person I grew up with. He was all I had.
‘But he took my childhood away from me.’
When she got into hospital, the day before she gave birth, nurses told Shannon she was over 39 weeks pregnant.
Shannon kept her child for a year but gave him up for adoption at the age of one ‘because he needed a better life’.
But she hopes to have a relationship with him when he grows up.
In April 2015, Shane Ray Clifton was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
He later had his sentence reduced to 10 years, meaning he’ll be potentially be allowed out on parole in four-and-a-half years.
Shannon bravely stood up in court, in front of her father, and told the jury what she had been through.
But now the teenager is terrified of him finding her when he is released.
She said: ‘I’m scared. What’s going to stop him from hurting me again?’
Shannon now hopes to move abroad to start a new life. She said living in Derby ‘brings back too much’.
When she first waived her anonymity as a victim of sex crime, Shannon said she received floods of messages from strangers who said she had inspired them.
She said times are still tough and she admitted she has tried to commit suicide before.
But Shannon is now studying forensic psychology with the Open University and planning to release her book, The Monster I Loved, before the end of the year.
She’s also doing a course in motivational speaking.
She said: ‘I want people to see that there is a way out.
‘There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Most people look at me and wouldn’t know I had been through that.
‘You won’t get over it, but you can move on from it. I know I’m worth more than that.
‘Sometimes you have to make positives out of a bad situation.’
She hopes to have a relationship with her child in the future and wants to inspire others through her new book.
Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC’s free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 5000 while children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or http://www.childline.org.uk