"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


6. 6

Peter had his own car and they drove back to the guest house. Peter like most seamen liked to drink Navy rum, he wasn’t one for drinking beer. Like her, he ate very little and was only around 10 stone in his uniform. It made him look a lot taller than his five feet eleven inches. No matter how Mildred tried to feed him up by filling his plate he would always leave food on his plate.


Peter began to take Janet out on a regular basis and she was becoming very fond of him. She was in no hurry to marry again even though it had been over a year since she left Brian. she had heard that Brian was now living with the barmaid from the Royal Oaks. Peter though was persistent he wanted to marry Janet and be a father to Deborah Jane. Janet told Peter to be patient and that one day they would be married. She knew that Peter wanted children of his own but for the time being he was content with Deborah Jane.

“When Deborah Jane learned to talk just after her first birthday she became curious.

“Is Uncle Peter my daddy she would ask later.

“No, you have a real daddy but he does not live with us. I’ll tell you about him when you are older.’

“Will I ever see my real daddy?’

“Maybe one day when you are a little older.’ Now come on put on your pyjamas for bed. I’ll come and tuck you in and you get off to sleep. Janet pulled up the blanket then tucked it in and kissed her daughter good night. She went to her room and lay in bed thinking about what her daughter had said. She decided then that as soon as her divorce papers came through she would marry Peter, he was a good man, he would make a good father for Deborah Jane.



Peter waited until Deborah jane was three years old before he asked Janet to marry him again. She was now officially divorced. Brian had remarried, soon as his divorce was finalised. He married Aggie Brownlee the barmaid from the Royal Oaks.

 Peter to his credit gave Janet a wedding to remember, all of his Royal Navy friends including his commanding officer were there at St George’s Church on the Saturday of the 12th June. Mildred had invited the whole street to her sister’s wedding and the celebrations continued at the reception in the Grand hotel in Tynemouth. Deborah Jane was one of her bridesmaids along with Susan, Mildred’s daughter and two of her nursing friends. Doctor Needham and the staff of all the wards came and they danced and sang the whole day. The cake was five tiers high and had been made as a gift from the lads in the Royal Navy. She had so many gifts and cards she didn’t know where to start reading them. Unbeknown to Janet, Peter had bought a house in Alma Place which was just over the road from the hospital where she worked. It was perfect and again his mates from the Navy had helped him fix the place up. Peter and Janet spent a week in the Norfolk on the broads on a canal boat called the Sunflower. They sailed by day and fished in the canal and ate brown and rainbow trout on board all cooked by Peter, who’s culinary skills were something she admired. In fact, she didn’t like to admit it but he was a better cook than her. Peter was a gentle considerate lover unlike her first husband. He made her feel things that she’d never experienced with Brian. She didn’t realise that women were meant to feel like that or to show emotions with Peter she was truly uninhibited. Her Parents certainly weren’t, she had listened because her parents room was next to hers and what she heard was the same as what Brian had been like with her. it was over in a matter of seconds. Her mother had been deprived of a sex life all those years.

Janet was truly in love with Peter; No man could ever take his place. When they came back to Cullercoats to pick up Deborah Jane to go to their new home. Janet was so excited because Peter hadn’t told her about the new house that he’d bought until they returned.

Deborah Jane said goodbye to Aunt Mildred and Uncle Alan then holding on to the teddy bear that Peter had brought her from back from one of his trips she got into the car with her mother.

When Janet and Deborah saw the cottage house they were so happy. The cottage had a beautiful rose garden at the front that were all in full bloom. There was a small lawn with decorative borders of Illicium and lobelia them and around the edges yellow marigolds. The inside the four- bedroomed cottage there was new furniture, there was an old wood stove for heating the water and they even had a bath inside, something that she rather missed. She had been using the shower in the hospital and at the boarding house it would be nice to just lie in the bath and soak.

Peter had bought her a washing machine like her sisters and there was a gas cooker.

Deborah jane screamed with delight as she went into her room to see an array of toys for her to play with. The walls had been papered with Walt Disney characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. There was a light on the bedside table that revolved, it changed colour sending a different shade of colour on the ceiling. “Oh, mummy its lovely, thank you.

“Don’t thank me thank your Uncle Peter he’s done it all.’

Come said Peter there’s more. He took Deborah Jane by the hand and led her into the back garden that had three trees, a cherry tree, an apple tree, and a pear tree. There was a good- sized lawn and in the far corner on the right there was a summer house that Peter had his navy friends make for Deborah Jane. It was painted red and yellow and inside there was a table and chairs and a bench where she could sit and do her homework when she got older and she could look out of the glass fronted window.

Deborah Jane ran and hugged Peter then kissed his cheek.   

“Mummy can I call Uncle Peter daddy now.’

“If you want to but remember, you have another daddy who lives in Portsmouth.’

“Yes, you told me, but Peter is my proper daddy.’

 The rest of the garden had a shed and a garden bench to sit out on. Peter had thought of everything. She loved her new cottage and her new life that she was now going to enjoy.


Peter had to report back to his ship as they were sailing to Malta in two days. He wouldn’t be home until Christmas which was nearly six months away. Peter organised some driving lessons for his wife whilst he was away. He’d send her money home each month so she could buy provisions and pay the bills etcetera. He wrote to both Janet and Deborah each week and Janet kept him informed of her progress with her driving lessons. When the first snows of 1950 arrived, Janet had passed her driving test. On the 23rd December there was a delivery from Norway. It was a ten feet high real Christmas tree. The men who delivered it placed the tree where she wanted it before leaving. On her day off she went to Woolworths on Saville Street and bought baubles, tinsel and Deborah Jane even made an angel for the top of the tree. When Peter came home that evening there was hugs and kisses from both Janet and Deborah Jane.

“Right you two, let’s get this tree decorated.’

Janet brought the box of baubles and the tinsel and the three of them decorated the tree. Peter had brought home some different coloured lights from Malta which when wrapped around the tree and when they were plugged in changed colour.

“Like it Peter said as he plugged it in.’

Oh, it’s the best tree in the world daddy. Wait until my friends at school see it. Deborah Jane had two girls from her class who came regularly to tea which they had in the summer house. Malissa Stewart and Beverley Amis loved coming over as they didn’t have a play house in their garden.

 Deborah Jane still believed in Santa Claus and she hung her stocking up over the fireplace and placed a sweet mince pie, a glass of sherry, and some washed carrots for the reindeer on the table.

“Wait until she sees what I have bought her for Christmas. Never mind about Deborah Jane what about me she said as she toyed with Peters hair.

“Actually, yours will be brought over on Santa’s sleigh tomorrow morning.’

“Really.’ I can’t wait but have you got me a present for tonight?’

“Oh, yes I’ve got you a big present.’

“Daddy are you going to read me a bedtime story.’

“Deborah Jane your daddy has just got in, I’ll read you one.’

“No, I want daddy to read me one, he does the funny voices better than you.’

“Alright, go and get your jimjams on and I’ll be with you in a minute princess.’

“Deborah Jane skipped along to her room.’

“You spoil her Peter you really do.’

“You’re only young once you know.’

Peter hurried off to Deborah Janes room and there she was standing naked as the door was open. “His heart beat quickened as he watched her put on her pyjamas, patience he told himself as he waited until she was dressed then walked in.

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