November 2011

Child rapist released from jail as victim wins an award as Ultimate Survivor

A SEX beast who raped two schoolgirls in separate incidents in his East Kilbride home was released from jail on Monday after serving six years of a nine-year sentence.

But as 53-year-old William Potter enjoyed his first days of freedom, one of his young victims told the News his release no longer held any fears for her.

Brave Nicole Campbell, who now helps counsel other young sexual assault victims through SAVI – the Sexual Assault Victims Initiative – was last week presented with the Ultimate Survivor Award by Cosmopolitan magazine.

Of Potter’s release, the former St Bride’s High School pupil, who was just 14 when Potter raped her, said simply: “I am not worried about me. I am a grown-up now and well able to take care of myself. But I do worry for other vulnerable young girls.

“I only hope he has learned a lesson.”

Nicole, from Westwood, who is currently on a business course at South Lanarkshire College but hopes to go on to university to study law and become a criminal lawyer on the side of the Crown Prosecution Service, was just 14 when she was raped in 2004 by Potter at his former home in Fleming Place, The Murray.

Two months earlier he had raped a 15-year-old girl.

Both girls gave evidence at his trial of how they had gone to the house at the invitation of Potter’s son but had awakened in the early hours of the morning to find William Potter on top of them, raping them.

Distraught with what had happened to her, it took weeks for Nicole to pluck up the courage to tell her parents what had happened.

And it took 16 months for the case to call before the High Court and for Potter to be jailed.

To their horror, Nicole’s mum and dad, Annmarie and Dougie Campbell, discovered there was no counselling available for their daughter.

They learned help was all tailored to adult victims and only available after any court case ended.

It led to the setting up of SAVI by Annmarie Campbell and Nicole became one of her first counsellors.

Nicole went all-out to promote the charity, waiving her own right to anonymity as a rape victim to do so.

She explained: “It is a good way to show other victims they can come through the other side and that it is not the end of the world.

“You can fight on to become a survivor.

“You should not be scared to come forward and ask for help.”

It is her own courage and determination to help others that has won Nicole the Ultimate Survivor Award presented by Cosmopolitan magazine

December 2005

Teen rapist jailed for nine years

A man who raped two schoolgirls after plying them with drink has been jailed for a total of nine years.

A court heard how William Potter, 47, took advantage of the youngsters while they slept-off an alcohol binge.

His son Antony, 19, had brought the girls – aged 14 and 15 – to his dad’s then home in East Kilbride.

During two separate incidents in less than two months the girls woke up to find William Potter on top of them and having sex.

An earlier trial also heard that Potter had bought one of the girls a black bra and thong but she refused his demand to model the sexy undies, just hours before she was raped.

Throughout the trial Potter claimed the girls were lying. His story was backed up by his son who claimed he was a very light sleeper and had heard nothing.

A jury rejected his story and found Potter guilty of stripping the 15-year-old while she was asleep and under the influence of drink on 15 May last year and then raping her.

He was also convicted of raping the younger girl, also while she was under the influence of alcohol, on 3 July last year.

Still protesting his innocence, Potter was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.

Solicitor advocate Murray MacAra, defending, said: “His attitude remains as it did at the trial. He denies involvement in these offences and he gave evidence to that effect.”

Jailing Potter, judge Lord Bracadale told him: “These were friends of your son and staying as guests in your house.

“They were drunk and vulnerable and you took advantage of the situation to rape each of them.”