A Halifax man has been jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of repeatedly raping a young girl more than three decades ago.
As he locked up 58-year-old Gary Thompson Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the case showed that when victims of appalling abuse had the courage to speak about their ordeal the police, the courts and the jury system would not let them down.
This substantial sentence sends a clear message that those who sexually abuse others will not be tolerated and that the police will do everything possible to bring those who commit serious sexual offences to justice.Detective Inspector David Shaw, of Calderdale’s Safeguarding Team
Thompson, of Woodlands Mount, was described by his own barrister as a “model father” to his own family, but more than 30 years ago he subjected his then young victim to a harrowing campaign of rape and cruelty.
A jury a Bradford Crown Court found Thompson guilty on a series of specimen charges of rape and indecent assault and he was also convicted of further allegations of attempted buggery and cruelty towards the same victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Prosecutor Nicholas Askins summarised the contents of a victim personal statement provided by the now adult complainant in which she said Thompson’s offending had “ruined her life”.
He said the woman had suffered breakdowns and other difficulties and added:”She found the process of giving evidence very stressful, but feels now that perhaps she can move forward.”
The court heard that Thompson’s offending stopped in his mid-twenties and his barrister Gillian Batts stressed that there had not been a finger of suspicion pointed at him in relation to any similar behaviour since.
Thompson, who suffers from a degenerative spinal condition, remained seated as Judge Durham Hall outlined the shocking details of the offences.
The judge described the historical abuse as relentless and terrifying and said at one stage that he could not remember dealing with a more harrowing case.
Judge Durham Hall said the offending soon escalated into a “relentless campaign of sustained and repeated rapes” which sometimes caused the victim to vomit.
The cruelty charge included allegations that Thompson would make her eat her own vomit and also put socks in her mouth to stop her screaming out.
The judge told Thompson that “true evil” had been at work for a few years in his life.
Thompson, who had denied all the charges, will have to register as a sex offender with the police following his release from prison and he will now be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the rest of his life.
Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector David Shaw, of Calderdale’s Safeguarding Team, said: “This substantial sentence sends a clear message that those who sexually abuse others will not be tolerated and that the police will do everything possible to bring those who commit serious sexual offences to justice.
“The victim in this case has been incredibly brave in giving their evidence, and now Thompson will spend a significant part of the rest of his life behind bars.
“I hope this also sends a positive message to others that no matter how long ago an offence took place, we will still thoroughly investigate allegations and encourage victims to come forward.”
Anyone who may be a victim, or knows someone who may be a victim of a sexual offence can contact Calderdale Safeguarding Unit via 101.