Two sisters sexually abused by their “monster” stepfather waived their right to anonymity to speak exclusively to a regional daily about their suffering.
He also indecently assaulted Ms Groves, now 24, and her sister Emma Faulkner, 26, who declined to speak to the newspaper but allowed her identity to be revealed so that the former was able to tell news reporter Adrian Imms the full story of their abuse.
The interview was featured on the front page of The Argus last week.
Said Adrian: “We were made aware of this case by Amy as it was progressing through the court system. Clearly the outcome of the case would affect the shape of the piece, as would whether Amy decided to waive her anonymity.
“The crucial aspect was whether her sister, Emma, would also waive her anonymity. Without her waiver it would have been very difficult to tell the whole story, if at all, bearing in mind the myriad charges against Gearing.
“It was not, however, crucial to interview Emma – simply to get her waiver. In this sense Emma was largely kept out of the piece (at her own request), though naming her avoided any confusion with other people of the same name.
“It’s not often a journalist or newspaper gets the opportunity to run something as important as this, but the hours that went into it were worth the while and Amy was pleased with our coverage.”
Lewes Crown Court last week heard how Gearing, 48, forced what the judge described as his “secret and dark life” on Amy from the age of seven until she first went to police aged 14.
Sarah Thorne, defending Gearing, argued that he had been “a good father and grandfather” and that he had never been involved with the police before.
But Judge Charles Kemp told him: “You were in a relationship with the girls’ mother. You were in a position of trust but instead you abused them for your own sexual gratification.
“It was a secret and dark life over years of yours all those years ago.”
Speaking to The Argus, Amy said her ordeal had “ruined my childhood”, adding: “The abuse took things away from me I will never be able to have again. He took my innocence.”