August 2015

South Shields former soldier jailed for nine years for raping 16-year-old girl

alan

A former soldier who raped a 16-year-old girl has been jailed for nine years.

Alan Watkins, who used to be in the Territorial Army, assaulted the teenager at a house in South Tyneside.

The 36-year-old had denied rape but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

As Watkins, who was drunk at the time, was locked up, the court heard his victim was badly affected by the attack.

It happened in 2011 but it was only last year that she plucked up the courage to tell the police what had happened.

Sentencing Watkins, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: “Your offending has had and continues to have, a very significant effect on her, affecting every part of her life.

“Her ability to trust others remains badly affected and she is still suffering depression.

“What happened to her as a result of your actions affected her relationship with her boyfriend.

“Not until last year did she feel able to involve the authorities, with the help of her boyfriend.

“Until then she felt, as she said, she was just stuck in a box. She said it was really, really hard.”

As well as the nine year prison sentence, Watkins, of Wharton Street, South Shields, must sign the sex offender register indefinitely.

The court heard he has no history of violence or sexual offending and was intoxicated at the time of the offence.

David Callan, defending, said: “There are no relevant previous convictions.

“He did some service in the army, three years in the Territorial Army.

“The last six years he has been working as a labourer.”