Brave victim speaks out after sex abuser jailed for 2 years

John Jock Slater began abusing his first victim when she was just nine. Picture: Ian Georgeson
John Jock Slater began abusing his first victim when she was just nine. Picture: Ian Georgeson

A WOMAN who underwent a horrifying catalogue of sexual abuse has spoken out on her traumatic ordeal after the man responsible was yesterday jailed for two years.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described the devastating impact of John Andrew Slater’s reign of abuse, which happened in various locations across 
Midlothian.

I am hoping with the right help that in time I will learn how to cope with what he did to me

Anonymous victim

Known to many as “Jock”, Slater, 55, was just 13 years old when he started abusing his first victim – aged just nine at the time – in June 1975.

The abuse lasted until 1982, after which Slater, of Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, targeted a second woman, then 14, between October 1986 and October 1987 in the Edinburgh area.

But his first victim, who is now in her 50s, said she feared Slater had preyed on many others and urged anyone else who he targeted to come forward.

In a statement recalling her ordeal, she said: “Jock Slater’s barrister may try to tell you that because he was in a coma after having a heart attack that he has lost his memory but this is not true.

“He was at a gala day where he spoke to my mother and told her he had lost his memory and then he whispered in my ear ‘but I remember what I did to you’.

“He abused me from approximately the age of eight or nine until my early twenties. He abused me at least four times a week during that time.

“If you calculate the number of times he abused me it works out that he abused me at least 2080 times and that is being generous to him because it was more.”

The victim explained Slater’s actions had led to her developing a split personality, one with both a “reasonable” side and another which prompted “high risk” behaviour, for example letting other men abuse her in the same way.

She said: “For the last 41 years, I have been having boiling hot baths and scrubbing my skin until it is red raw to try to get Jock Slater from under my skin. I have to try and stop this because I have now developed a fast heartbeat that is not good for my physical health.

“I find it very difficult to make friends and trust them. I have thought a lot of times about suicide. I have attempted it 
twice.

“I would not attempt to kill myself now because I have a son who needs his mother but that does not mean I don’t think about it.”

And although Slater is now behind bars, she said her 
journey to recovery was just beginning, adding: “I will not forget what Jock Slater did to me but I am hoping with the right professional help that in time I will learn how to cope and live with what he did to me as it is part of who I am.”

Slater, who has no previous convictions, was also placed on the sex offenders register for ten years and given a ten-year harrassment order in relation to his first victim.

Eleanor Seiglow, who acted as the woman’s advocate, urged anyone else who had suffered similar abuse at Slater’s hands to come forward.

She said: “The process with Jock Slater is over but my client is about to begin getting her life back because whoever she is today is affected by what he did to her. She is going to get the professional help that she needs but she can never take away what he did to her.

“If there’s anybody else, come forward – you will be believed. This just shows even for historical abuse cases you can still be believed.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk