Teenager takes own life after being sexually abused by her own dad for 10 years

Megan Reid, from Livingston in West Lothian, was subject to nine years of sexual abuse by her father Joseph McGinn, who began his vile campaign when she was just four-years-old

Gemma Reid has been left heartbroken following the death of her daughter Megan

A teenager took her own life after her dad sexually abused her over the course of almost a decade.

Megan Reid, from Livingston in West Lothian, killed herself on April 5, 2021 at the age of just 17.

Two years before the teenager’s death her father Joseph McGinn was convicted of sexually assaulting her, the Daily Record reported.

His abuse of Megan had begun in 2008, when she was four-years-old, a court was told during his trial.

It wasn’t until Megan was 13 that she revealed the awful truth to her mum on Mother’s Day 2018 – a moment Gemma describes as ‘the biggest shock of her life’.

Gemma, 34, said: “I felt like my whole world had come crashing in on top of me.

Megan was just 17 when she died

“I went into a total state of shock. It was terrible. I collapsed, I was sick. I picked up the phone straight away and reported it to the police.

“I was on my hands and knees screaming down the phone at them.”

McGinn was found guilty of sexually assaulting Megan at Glasgow High Court on 17 October 2019 and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Gemma said that despite his conviction, her daughter was so ‘broken’ by the abuse she suffered she was never able to come to terms with what she had been through.

The distraught mum told of how her daughter was left ‘crushed’ by the reaction of some extended family members who had branded the teen a ‘liar’.

Gemma continued: “Megan was a good girl, but what happened to her left her crushed and broken.

“Knowing some people didn’t believe her left her feeling betrayed and abandoned.

“She would lie in her bed crying. She self-harmed and she was suicidal for a lot of the time.

Gemma saying goodbye to her daughter

“She was drinking to try to block it all out, but she couldn’t. Daily life was too much for her.

“All she wanted was to die.”

Gemma described Megan as a “bright, bubbly and intelligent” child who was her mum’s “best pal”.

The teenager begged her mum not to blame herself in her heartbreaking final words, penned in a suicide note.

Gemma said: “Megan was my favorite person on the planet. She was the reason I breathed. My best pal, my mini me, my everything.

“In her final note, she told me loved me and told me not to blame myself, but I am destroyed.”

Gemma hopes that in telling Celtic fan Megan’s story, who had always dreamed of becoming a joiner, she can help to save at least one other young person by encouraging those living with trauma to keep going and reach out to their loved ones for help.

“Megan had so much to live for and more support than she could ever have imagined,” Gemma added.

“I always wanted her to be open about her mental health and told her we could get through it together. Sadly it wasn’t enough but I want to help prevent other people from going through the same as her.

“My advice is that you’re never alone, please always speak up, go to someone and someone will listen.

“Please don’t leave your parents without you. Their lives never be the same.”

Since Megan’s death, tributes have flooded in, including from Celtic Football Club who held a round of applause for the late teen before kick-off against St Johnstone on 9 April.

A gathering is also set to take place in Polson Park, Tranent on 23 April where friends and family will release sky lanterns and balloons in her memory.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Megan’s family with funeral costs and other expenses.

The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email [email protected] or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You matter.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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