April 2021

Man raped girl in ‘campaign of sexual abuse’ starting when she was six years old

A man raped and sexually abused a child over a period of eight years, a court has heard.

Michael Whilding, 65, subjected his victim to a “campaign of sexual abuse and sexual violence” when she was as young as six years old.

In total Whilding, of Mallory Close, St Athan, was convicted of 35 counts including two count of rape, two counts of attempted rape, indecent assault, and indecency with a child following a trial heard in March. The defendant had denied all the allegations.

A number of the indecency with a child charges related to a second victim where Whilding exposed his penis to his victim and told her to lift her skirt so he could “look at her”, Cardiff Crown Court was told on Monday.

It was heard the defendant later repeatedly warned her against reporting anything by telling her “what would happen if she did so”.

In an emotional victim personal statement read in court one of Whilding’s victims described how her childhood had been ruined by years of sexual abuse which included being raped, forced to watch porn, and perform sex acts on the defendant.

As a result of the abuse the woman, who cannot be named, has been diagnosed with severe PTSD and still suffers from nightmares and flashbacks.

Sentencing Whilding, Her Honour Judge Nicola Jones said it was clear the defendant’s actions had left a “long-lasting and significant ongoing effect” on his victims, describing it as a “campaign of sexual abuse and sexual violence”.

In total Whilding was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment with a further licence period of one year. At least two-thirds of his sentence must be served in custody before he can be referred to a parole board to consider his release.

In the victim statement, summarised in court, the woman described Whilding as a “predator” who had “preyed” upon her as an innocent girl, adding: “He knows what he did to me and doesn’t even have the decency to admit it.”

She said: “He made me feel dirty and worthless, like I was just there to get his sick kicks.”

The woman added: “I remember wishing I had the courage to just walk in front of a bus or lorry to make it stop. I wanted my life to end just to make all the hurt and fear stop and to make him stop what he was doing to me.”

The woman also described her difficulty remembering childhood memories and trusting others. She said: “I was broken by him and what he did to me. I just remember thinking: ‘Why can’t it be a bad dream and I can wake up?’ but it just kept going and going and going. I woke up every single day scared about what he was going to do with me.

“I still feel anxious and depressed and have flashbacks and nightmares. It never goes away. I remember when I was a kid feeling so helpless and scared.”

It was heard Whilding had previously been placed on the sexual offenders register for five years following a court appearance in 1999. At the time the defendant was sentenced for indecent assault of a female and one offence of gross indecency of a child.

During the hearing Matthew Roberts, mitigating, said Whilding’s wife Muriel had written a letter which was shared with the court.

An extract read: “I have been with Michael since I was 16 and he was 17. There has never been anyone else for either of us.” She added: “How on earth I will manage without him I have no idea.”