"Anorexia became my friend, it loved me""I could not come to terms with what he did to me""I have learnt that no one is above the law""I now have the power and no one can take that away from me"
A young woman has spoken of her battle with anorexia and depression, which left her "an inch away from death" following the sexual abuse inflicted upon her as a child by a NSW police officer.
The woman fought back tears as she delivered an extended victim impact statement in the sentencing of former Senior Constable Gregory Ernest Urch, 61, who sexually assaulted her and another minor during the mid-1990s.
Standing before her abuser at Sydney's Downing Centre District Court, the woman said she had punished herself for the abuse by refusing to eat as the only way of "getting some control over my life".
"Anorexia became my friend, it loved me," she said.
"I withdrew from the world because I could not come to terms with what he did to me.
"I was powerless."
The woman said that she was admitted to a psychiatric ward weighing 26 kilograms and later went into a coma.
"But I am the living proof that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
"I am determined to get through this and have a decent and comfortable life."
She said that in the years following the abuse, as she battled with anorexia, she had been involved in two car accidents, one of which left her scarred for life.
"I had fluid drained from my heart and got [the infection] MRSA in my leg, which left permanent scars," she told the court.
"This terrible abuse nearly killed me ... But I stand here today having survived the years of abuse and pain."
For years the woman was unable to report the abuse, withdrawing into herself.
"[But] in my last [psychiatric] admission in 2009, I realised that I had to report the assaults or it would kill me."
Against the odds, the woman undertook and completed a law degree by correspondence.
"Through my studies I have learnt that no one is above the law. I am pursuing justice for what has happened to me," she said.
"I now have the power and no one can take that away from me."
Urch pleaded guilty to six charges of sexual assault in October last year.
The offences took place between 1993 and 1997.
Five of the charges related to one child and one charge to the other.
A victim impact statement from Urch's second victim was also read in court.
The woman said she had been thrown out of school and become addicted to drugs in the years after she was abused.
Urch was attached to a specialist command. He was arrested by police from the Professional Standards Command after a lengthy investigation.
He is on bail.