Victim’s relief as paedophile is locked up

Jury convicts sleeping lorry driver who killed Petersfield woman and her brother

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THE victim of a paedophile has spoken of her relief after seeing her attacker locked up 30 years on.

But the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, hit out at the length of the sentence after Ian Whitaker was jailed for just 18 months.

The judge at Portsmouth Crown Court said his hands were tied because the offences were committed so long ago.

Whitaker, pictured, was a Chief Petty Officer in the navy, living in Gosport, when he abused two girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He gave the children, who were aged between nine and 12, cash and cigarettes to persuade them to let him carry out the abuse.

He told one of the girls he would kill her and hurt her family if she told anyone. After the sentencing his first victim, who is now in her 40s, said: ‘I feel that justice has been done. It’s a relief. But it’s annoying that the judge’s hands were tied. He deserved to get longer.’

She added: ‘It has ruined my life. Hopefully now I can get on with my life.’

Whitaker, who has since moved to Drake Close, South Shields, in the north-east, was arrested last year after the first victim contacted the police.

Their investigation led them to the second victim and he admitted what he had done. He pleaded guilty to one multiple incident count of indecent assault and four of indecency with a child at an earlier hearing.

Jeffrey Norie-Miller, defending, said his client felt deep remorse for what he had done.

‘There has been no subsequent offending of any type,’ he said.

‘He accepts that it was unpleasant for them and had serious long-term impact. He does not seek to diminish that.’

Jailing Whitaker, Judge Richard Price said: ‘Over the period of three years or maybe as long as four you were sexually abusing these two young girls.

‘Your abuse had a marked effect on both of them. It’s no exaggeration to say that you will have ruined their lives.’

Judge Price said he could not jail him for as long as he wanted because the maximum sentence for the offences at the time they were committed was two years and he had to reduce that figure because of Whitaker’s discount for pleading guilty.

‘I am restricted by what the law allows me to do with historic sexual offences,’ he said. ‘The sentence will sound wholly insufficient to punish you for the harm that you did to those two girls.’

Whitaker, 66, will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

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