Siblings raped and abused by dad in London Fire Brigade

Former firefighter Brian John Doye was considered a pillar of the community in south east London as he rose through the ranks of London Fire Brigade in the 1970s and 80s. 

But behind closed doors Doye was subjecting his children Gay and Mark to horrific sexual abuse. 

Gay was 10 when she walked in on her dad raping her younger brother Mark on a family holiday when he was aged just six. 

“One of the most difficult parts of my childhood that I struggle with is the immense guilt that I left my little brother in the caravan with him,” Gay said. 

But Doye was inflicting the same abuse on Gay, while telling her that all dads do this to their daughters and that he would kill her if she told anyone. 

Brian John Doye, now 77, hid in a cloak of respectability his entire lifeBrian John Doye, now 77, hid in a cloak of respectability his entire life (Image: South Wales Police) The abuse only stopped when they left home aged 16 and 18 – and they didn’t see their dad again until April this year when they faced him in court. 

Doye, now aged 77, was jailed for 28 years after he was found guilty of 28 child sex offences against Gay, Mark and a third victim who came forward in 2021. 

Speaking to the News Shopper after waiving their right to anonymity, Gay Melrose now 56 and Mark Doye now 53, said their dad hid in plain sight. 

Mark said: “He was a senior officer in the London Fire Brigade, he was trying to become a councillor, he was Santa Christmas every year and he taught young girls gymnastics. 

“He was respected and trusted by everyone he met. Nobody knew what he was really doing. We didn’t know what he was doing was wrong and even if we did there was nobody we could talk to. 

“Nobody would have believed us over a powerful man like him. He hid behind that power.” 

Mark and Gay described their dad as a monsterMark Doye and Gay Melrose described their dad as a monster (Image: SWNS) During their childhood they lived in Sidcup, Gravesend and Welling. 

When Doye took early retirement from London Fire Brigade he bought a convenience shop in Woolwich. 

Gay said: “We were the children and from the outside it probably looked like we had a nice little life – living in a three-bedroom semi. 

“I don’t think anyone would have believed us. People would have thought we were making it up. He always had this air of control over everything.” 

After they left home Gay and Mark drifted apart – largely because of their unspoken understanding of what they had each suffered. 

“It put a wedge between us, we couldn’t speak to each other,” Mark said. 

“We didn’t want to ask the question. We knew what had gone on and we tried to bury it, but in doing that we lost contact with each other.” 

Doye later moved to South Wales, where he abused a third victim who reported the abuse three years ago, which is when police tracked down Gay and Mark. 

After over a decade of not seeing each other, the siblings went to the police station together to reveal the abuse their dad had inflicted on them. 

They then saw their dad for the first time in almost five decades – sitting in the dock at Swansea Crown Court. 

Screens were used to block Doye’s view of the victims while they gave evidence, but one afternoon towards the end of the trial the siblings entered the courtroom and saw their dad sitting there. 

Gay said: “It was the first time he saw us since we were children. He turned his head and stared, a look as if to say ‘how dare you, you will pay for this’.” 

Mark added: “It was the same look we used to get when we were kids and he thought we did something wrong and you knew what was coming next.” 

The siblings said their dad was trying to exert the same control over them that he did when they were kids. 

Gay said this started before the trial too: “When he was first arrested after Mark and I went to the police, my son came over to visit from Australia. We had a lovely time and I’d posted some photos onto my Facebook reels. 

“He [Doye] had liked one of them. It really upset me. I’d had no contact with him for 40 years, then police arrest him and he starts stalking my Facebook as if to say ‘I’m watching you’.” 

After years apart the siblings supported and found strength in each other throughout the process. 

Gay said: “Now we’ve got each other back in our lives, as well as our nieces and nephews and everything. It is good.” 

Mark and Gay said they're glad to be back in one another's livesMark and Gay said they’re glad to be back in one another’s lives (Image: Gay Melrose) When Doye was jailed in May, Judge Catherine Richards told him: “You got to your mid 70s in a cloak of respectability. But acting as a respectable man was a fraud. You are a paedophile with an entrenched sexual interest in young children.”   

Judge Richards said it was remarkable that Doye’s victims had survived the abuse that was inflicted on them.  

She added: “Survivor guilt is something that this court often sees. That is misplaced. You have manipulated everyone around you into thinking you are something you are not. The only person responsible for the hurt you have caused is, of course, you.” 

At the sentencing hearing Gay faced her dad and said: “Brian, you tried to destroy my inner soul and my complete wellbeing from a very young age. But I dug myself in and held my head up high. I am proud of the person I am.” 

Gay and Mark feel that there may be more victims of their dad's abuseGay and Mark feel that there may be more victims of their dad’s abuse (Image: SWNS) Gay and Mark decided to waive their right to anonymity. 

“Unfortunately, I am sure there are going to be more victims out there of our father because he didn’t go from the 70s and 80s to the 2000s without doing anything in between,” Gay said. 

“We thought if we can put our names out there and tell our story it will help any other victims of his to come forwards.” 

For Mark, it was particularly important because of the stigma surrounding male victims of sexual abuse. 

“You don’t get many boys or teenage boys coming forwards with what they’ve suffered,” he said. 

“I just wanted to put my name out there so I could tell people you haven’t done anything wrong. You don’t need to hide. Hold your head up high. 

“Why shouldn’t I have my name and photo out there? He’s the one that’s wrong. He’s the one behind bars. 

“I hope someone sees this and thinks ‘if they can do it then so can I’.” 

Gay and Mark have also set up a help and advice group for child and historical child sexual abuse victims.  

TEDDY (which stands for tell everyone don’t doubt yourself) will seek to raise awareness and encourage a shift in attitudes to victims of child sexual abuse. 

In time they hope to grow the organisation into a charity with qualified professionals to help child sexual abuse victims. 

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