Ex paratrooper Wayne Domeney, 51, claimed he had served with Prince Harry and was once pictured shaking hands with Prince Charles.
But when his stepdaughter Louise* Richards, now 18, of Warwickshire, was just 12-years-old in May 2012, he cornered her in their living room and forced himself on her.
He continued to prey on her until a school friend encouraged her to tell her mum in October 2014.
Over the following year police gathered evidence and Domeney was eventually charged with raping Louise – but in January 2018, he failed to turn up to court.
After going on the run for two weeks, which sparked a high profile manhunt, he eventually handed himself into a police station in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and in March this year he was jailed for 17 years and four months.
Now, Louise, who has just left college, has bravely waived her right to anonymity to urge other victims like her to come forward.
She said: "Wayne always claimed to be a war hero. It was hard knowing the truth about him. But being so young I was too scared to tell anyone.
“I’m so glad that I’ve gotten justice, but I never want to see his face again.”
Domeney, of Consett, County Durham, started dating Louise’s mum Cath* in April 2010. Four months later, he moved into their family home.
“Mum was really happy with him," Louise admitted. "He was nice to me and helped me do my homework.
“He was an ex paratrooper and had been in the Army for 23 years. He was a Warrant Officer Sergeant Major, and toured Iraq and Afghanistan as well as serving in Northern Ireland.
“He claimed he’d had tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and had a picture of him shaking hands with Prince Charles on the mantelpiece."
In an interview last September, Domeney claimed Prince Charles "always remembered him" after meeting him at a Colours Parade.
He said: "He knew I was the boxing champ. I said, 'We've got two pints of Guinness, will you toast the regiment?' So he stayed for a few pints.
William completed his Army training when he graduated from Sandhurst in 2006 aged 24.
Harry served in the army for 10 years, after being accepted into Sandhurst in 2004.
Domeney joined the army in 1985 and served for 23 years, leaving in 2009.
“Wayne loved telling people about his heroic past," Louise said. "But despite his boasting, I liked him.
“But I was really scared of him. Wayne was a broad man, I would have never done anything to disobey him.”
Domeney often babysat Louise and her younger brother while Cath worked nights in a warehouse.
But one night in November 2010, when Louise was 11, things turned sinister.
“He told me I was pretty and stroked my thigh," Louise recalled.
"It really freaked me out. I ran upstairs and he left me alone for a while.
“A month later, he crept into my room while mum slept and put his hands down my knickers.
“It was horrible. But I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening.”
In May 2012, Domeney raped Louise for the first time while her mum was at work.
"He cornered me in the living room while I was watching TV," she said. "I felt disgusting.
“He told me not to tell anyone and I knew I never could. But I just wanted to be a normal child and wished he’d leave me alone.”
That year in October, Cath and Wayne married – with Louise as bridesmaid.
Louise said: “I gritted my teeth and smiled for the family pictures. It sickened me that Wayne was playing happy families when he was secretly abusing me.
“It broke my heart seeing how happy mum was.
“After that, I tried to avoid Wayne as much as possible. Then one day in 2013, he cornered me in their bedroom and raped me on their bed.
“He told me to keep quiet or he’d hurt me.”
Over the next year, Domeney raped Louise twice more. The abuse made her angry and she found it difficult to trust people.
Louise found respite at school and became close to another student. In August 2014, she told him her harrowing secret.
"He told me to tell mum," she recalled.
"At first I couldn’t do it. But as the weeks went by, I realised that I couldn’t carry on. So two months later I blurted out my secret to mum.
“She was shocked, but immediately drove me to the police station. I gave a statement to officers and Wayne was arrested the same day.”
In January 2018, Wayne Domeney, formerly of Bulkington, Warwickshire, was found guilty of three counts of rape of a female aged 13-15, one count of rape of a female aged under 13, six counts of assault of a female child under 13 by penetration, one count of assault of a female child under 13, causing or inciting a female child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, intimidating a witness or juror, and failure to surrender at Birmingham Crown Court.
He never turned up to court so was convicted in his absence.
Louise says: “I couldn’t believe he’d been so cowardly and gone on the run. It was typical.
“I was so anxious knowing that he was out in public. I worried that I’d run into him.”
After an arrest warrant was issued, Domeney handed himself into a police station on February 16.
He was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison on March 23 and also given a one-year extended license, which means he could stay in prison for longer if he is still deemed a risk.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Kate Williams, of Warwickshire Police, said: "Domeney's actions have resulted in lifelong consequences for his victim, who is still coming to terms with what he did.
"Now that he is behind bars for a substantial length of time I hope she feel a sense of justice for the trauma he caused.
"She showed tremendous courage in talking to us about her experience and I hope this conviction will also encourage other victims to report offences to us."
Louse said: “I was delighted. Finally I received justice. Now I’m moving on with my life – I feel nothing towards Domeney. He’s exactly where he belongs.
“For years, he fooled people into thinking he was a brave war hero – now everyone knows that he’s a coward.”
*Names have been changed.
We previously told how a mum abused by her paedo stepdad from the age of four recalled the harrowing moment he announced he wanted her to have his baby… when she was just 12.
Meanwhile a daughter was left heartbroken after her mum chose her paedophile second husband over her.
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