Prison death for man who raped a child

Raymond Bath
Raymond Bath

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A WOMAN who was raped by her adoptive father has spoken of her mixed feelings after hearing about his death in jail.

In 2012 Rachel Williams found the courage to speak out about the years of abuse she suffered as a child from her adopted father Raymond Bath in the 1970s, leading to him being jailed in 2015.

Bath, of Nelson Avenue, North End, was serving his 12-year sentence at HMP Winchester when he was found dead by a healthcare assistant on June 8. An inquest was held at Winchester Coroner’s Court on Wednesday.

Mrs Williams, from Emsworth, who waived her right to anonymity to speak out, told The News: ‘I received a letter a couple of weeks ago and didn’t read it. When I finally opened it, it was quite a shock.

‘I feel a bit cheated by his death, but what is done is done. I did the right thing and at least he died in prison.’

The inquest heard that Bath had been receiving medical care while in prison as he had previously had bowel cancer, and had liver problems due to him drinking heavily for most of his life, plus he had breathing problems, including asthma, brought on by smoking.

Coroner Grahame Short said: ‘He suffered from a number of medical conditions, in particular liver cirrhosis and bowel cancer, but most significantly his breathing problems connected to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

‘I note that he had given up cigarettes but the damage to his lungs had already happened prior to his arrival at prison.’

He said that these conditions, combined with bronchopneumonia, led to his condition declining over the time he was in jail.

Bath, who was born in Warsash, worked as a machinist at the Metal Box factory in Burrfields Road, Copnor.

He adopted Mrs Williams in 1968. He and his wife at the time lived in Grayshott Road, Southsea until 1970, when they moved to Chalkridge Road, in Cosham.

In 2015, Bath was found guilty of three counts of indecency with a child, two counts of indecent assault and one count of rape, which took place between 1970 and 1977, when Mrs Williams was between five and nine years old.

Mrs Williams said: ‘When I first spoke out I thought it would be over quickly, but it has been an awful.

‘It has taken a long time but things are starting to come good again.

‘I have had counselling, which has helped, and I am focusing on having a good year next year.’