An EastEnders actor has described being abused hundreds of times at the hands of a showbiz paedophile who sang with Dame Shirley Bassey.
Stuart Antony, 34, of Gravesend, Kent, who played a friend of Shane Richie’s Alfie Moon in the BBC soap, is speaking out after being abused in a five-year ordeal.
His attacker Billy Nutt, who was once a backing singer for Dame Shirley, was jailed for 18 years – and Mr Antony has told how he ‘suffered in silence’ during the abuse.
Nutt, a singer and former landlord of pubs in Kent, worked as a musician around the world on cruise ships and theatres, and released five solo albums after beginning his career in 1997. He also once supported Dame Shirley while she was on tour.
But he committed a string of offences on three victims between 1998 and 2007 in various towns around Kent, including Maidstone, Dartford and Broadstairs.
Nutt began abusing Mr Antony when he was just ten years old. The 62-year-old named his boat One Moment – after one of his songs – but then used it to carry out some of the attacks on the boys.
Stuart Antony, 34, of Gravesend, Kent, has spoken out after being abused in a five-year ordeal
Mr Antony (C) starred in the TV show Cockney and Scouse alongside David Easter (L) and Mark Moraghan (R)
The abuse was reported to Kent Police between 2014 and 2016 and Nutt, of Maidstone, was arrested and later charged with 21 sexual crimes involving three children.
At Southwark Crown Court he was jailed for 18 years for the abuse of the three victims.
Nutt denied the charges but was convicted by a jury after a 12-day trial at Maidstone Crown Court last August.
Mr Antony, who also appeared in police drama The Bill, has now waived his right to anonymity to speak about his fight for justice and his experiences.
He said the abuse first started when he was aged ten when Nutt was a family friend who sang in the pub where his mother worked.
He said: ‘We just saw him like an uncle but looking back it was all part of that grooming process.’
Mr Antony, Easter and Moraghan point their pistols into the air during a scene in Cockney and Scouse
Showbiz paedophile Billy Nutt, 62, has been jailed for 18 years for the abuse of three victims
Nutt was previously jailed for four years in 2015 for abusing a four-year-old boy and again for nine months in 2019 for grooming another child.
Mr Antony first went to the police about the abuse he suffered in 2016 after finding out Nutt’s abuse of another youngster.
He added: ‘What triggered it for me was knowing he had just been jailed for abusing another child. I thought if I come forward and report it, I might prevent him from attacking other victims.
‘I picked up the phone. I felt guilty and nervous but I knew this had to be done. I had had years of counselling and thought I could deal with the issues that way but deep inside I knew I need to report him to police and I am so glad that I did.’
Officers arrived at his home within an hour to take his statement.
Mr Antony added: ‘At first I was reluctant to tell them everything because of embarrassment and guilt. But these were specially trained officers who immediately put me at ease.
Mr Antony attended the sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London (file image)
‘I was just so pleased somebody believed me because I had bottled this up for years, which affected all my personal life leaving me angry and drinking too much.’
The dossier was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service and by the time they authorised a charge, two other victims had come forward.
The case then took nearly five years before it got to court – because it was a painstaking investigation.
Mr Antony added: ‘Many times I was tempted to say I don’t want it to continue but then I reminded myself there were others who had come forward.
‘And I have to say I received the best support from my family and friends. I can’t thank them enough for their love, especially when I was at my lowest.’
Mr Antony has used his experiences to pen a new TV drama, called Iris, and has been researching the life of barristers to help with the project.
The actor is also appearing in the show, Cockney and Scouse, due to be broadcast in the US.
He decided to attend the sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court to see the outcome of the case.
He said: ‘As I sat in the public gallery, I could hear my heart beating. Even though Nutt had been found guilty I still felt nervous and I was genuinely shocked when I heard the judge say 18 years – but it is a just sentence.
‘I suffered in silence, no one should have to do that. William Nutt sexually abused me on hundreds of occasions over a long period of time which has mentally scarred me. I cannot and will not let this haunt me for the rest of my life.
‘My anger, sadness and guilt towards this situation has controlled me for over two decades and it will not from this moment on.
‘The fact that I’ve had to stand up in a court full of people and tell them exactly what happened to me is the most embarrassing and shameful moment of my life.
‘Having to tell my mother, partner and loved ones intimate details about this abuse is something that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.
‘Thank you to my family and friends for being there every step of the way, Kent Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecution barrister Madeline Wolfe.’
Detective Sergeant Nicky Spicer, of the North Kent Vulnerability Investigation Team, praised the brave victims for coming forward to help get Nutt jailed.
She said after the sentencing: ‘Nutt has subjected three vulnerable young victims to appalling crimes for his own gratification.
‘This was compounded when he pleaded not guilty at the trial and forced the victims to revisit their ordeals whilst giving evidence.
‘I would like to commend the three victims for the courage they have shown in ensuring their abuser has now been convicted.
‘This sentence illustrates once again our determination to investigate all reports of non-recent sex offences and I hope it will encourage other victims of this type of abuse to come forward.
‘We have a team of specialist officers who work relentlessly to ensure that offenders like Nutt do not evade justice, just because a crime may have happened a long time ago.
‘I would also like to assure anyone who may have been a victim of abuse that they will be treated with the utmost care and understanding.’