Gravesend director creates and performs one-man show about his own childhood sexual abuse

PUBLISHED: 13:43 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:45 16 June 2017

Patrick Sandford as a boy

Patrick Sandford as a boy


Patrick Sandford suffered the abuse at a primary school in Gravesend

Production shots of Groomed with Patrick Sandford Production shots of Groomed with Patrick Sandford

A 65-year-old man who suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher from his Gravesend primary school has now written a play presenting his trauma to the public for the first time.

Patrick Sandford, a director, has turned to acting to tell his story of the abuse he suffered in the 1960s.

He said: “It was a long time ago, but the effects last, and talking about it now shows how much I’ve recovered. I didn’t know how to tell anyone about it at the time, but this performance is a way for me to move on from the experience. The response has been extraodrinary, and people have opened up to me about the childhood trauma they’ve suffered.

“It has had a huge impact on my life. Trust issues have made it difficult for me to build relationships. I have had some very loving relationship but it isn’t easy for the other person.”

Mr Sandford has now performed his play for both the Metropolitan Police, and the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, whilst also speaking with his former school and Kent County Council about it.

“The county council have been very civil and curtious, they have dealt with my case as appropriate and there is no ill will between us. The same can be said for the school. The school now has nothing to do with what happened and I genuinely hope it’s a great school now.

“I would like my abuser’s name to be out there, because people need to know what happened. It would be great if this play encouraged others to come forward. I’d love to congratulate them on continuing with their lives.

“I’m not sure where my abuser is now, but I’m pretty sure he’s dead. If he walked in the room now I’d punch him on the nose and just ask him what he thought he was doing. I don’t believe all paedophiles are monsters, they have deep psychological issues. And I’d like to quash theories that if you’ve been abused, you’re more likely to become an abuser - that’s simply not true. The attraction isn’t the crime, the action taken is.”

Groomed is showing at the Soho Theatre until July 1.

Visit for tickets.

Latest News

Yesterday, 16:43

Proposals for a new free school in Northfleet have been scrapped, for now at least.

Tue, 15:53

A Rambo knife and £800 in cash were seized by police after four suspected drug dealers were arrested at a property in Gravesend.

Mon, 12:31

Star Wars fans can watch the highly-anticipated Episode VIII in high definition as four new screens are unveiled at the Bluewater cinema.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Discover the tales of people and places connected to the First World War through a new project.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

A community garden project is delighted to have been given a grant to create a second space.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Theatre fans are in for a treat this winter, as a succession of thrilling shows arrive at The Orchard Theatre.

Most read


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder