July 2021

Predator pensioner likely to die in prison for repeatedly raping seven-year-old girl

A pensioner who subjected a child to a campaign of rape which left her scarred for life has been jailed for 23 years.

John Gillis, 81, believed he had got away with the sickening abuse he carried out many years ago

However, the pensioner has finally been brought to justice and is now likely to die in prison after being told he must serve two-thirds of the 23 years behind bars.

Gillis, known as Jack, received the sentence Newcastle Crown Court and his victim said he will have to carry the shame of being a paedophile “for the rest of your pathetic life”.

The woman, who was seven at the time, said: “He was like a beast on the prowl and I was his prey.

“I felt worthless and have tried to commit suicide several times as I felt I couldn’t live with the shame of what he did.”

She added: “Jack, where you are today, because of your arrogance, you believed yourself invincible but you have been proved wrong and justice has been met.

“You have to carry the brand paedophile for the rest of your life

“May you languish in prison for the rest of your pathetic life.”

Gillis, of Plessey Road, Blyth, Northumberland, was convicted after a trial in May of six counts of rape, three of them when the victim was under 13, and two of indecent assault.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: “You vilely abused her, raping her repeatedly despite the obvious distress and pain you knew you were causing her.”

When the victim tried to tell Gillis’ mother what he had done, when she was 15, she was dismissed and denounced as a liar, the court heard.

Judge Gittins said Gillis did everything he could to create the impression she was making it up.

He added: “You arrogantly dismissed her complaint and, frankly, dismissed her as a human being.

“There has been no shame from you, no contrition.

“Even when cornered in cross-examination, you still sought to blame her, telling the court she was coming on to you.”

Judge Gittins said the truth is now out as a result of the victim’s courage.

He added: “You were a paedophile and a serial rapist of her and she is a survivor but at an almost catastrophic cost to almost every aspect of her life.

As well as the prison sentence, Gillis will be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.