West Lothian mother who was groomed and raped by her neighbour aged 15 sees predator jailed for 6 years
Angela Haston, 40, was in court to see former soldier William Whyte, 48, convicted of raping her more than 20 years ago in front of his young son.
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Mrs Haston, who worked as a babysitter for Whyte, said she “finally has closure” two decades on from the ordeal.
The mother-of-five, who has waived her right to anonymity, hopes her case will help other survivors of sexual assault feel able to come forward.
Whyte, who served with the Royal Scots, was 23 when he carried out the rape at a house in Polbeth, West Lothian.
He had denied assaulting and raping the victim between March 1 and May 31 in 1996 but was found guilty by a jury at the High Court in Livingston and jailed for six years.
His name was added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period.
Mrs Haston said raped her in front of his young son and urged her to have sex with a friend after taking her to a hotel for her 16th birthday.
Whyte, formerly of Addiewell in West Lothian, had previously told the underage girl how beautiful she was when he made flattering comments towards her.
The pair had sex as his wife and kids slept upstairs and Whyte continued to meet the schoolgirl in secret at a nearby woods.
Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburg, Judge Lord Braid said the teenager had made it clear to Whyte that she did not want to have sex with him.
He told Whyte: "She was crying and repeatedly said 'no' but nonetheless you went ahead and had sex with her without her consent."
Lord Braid said he accepted "that the effect of being raped in front of your son, which was her evidence, was traumatic in the extreme".
Mrs Haston, who was in court to see Whyte convicted said: “I had not seen him for over 20 years. I felt sick to my stomach when I saw him.
“I was a bit gutted he was only in court on video link as I wanted to look him in the eyes and tell him what he has done to me.
“The last five years have been hellish but I’m praying this helps me move forward now.”
Mrs Haston, who is an ambassador for the Wave Trust, is using her own experiences to encourage other survivors to bring charges against their attackers.
She said: “I know people whose abusers have died before they could get justice, it’s hard to see the hurt they are still carrying.
“I want all survivors to know that they should never feel ashamed coming forward."
AN NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “The victim in this case has lived for more than two decades with the devastating impact of being raped as a teenager by Whyte.
“We hope that through coming forward and seeing her abuser finally have to face up to his crime and be punished, she will find some comfort and closure and be able to move forward with her life.
“It is so important that those who have been subjected to sexual abuse feel confident that if they speak out they will be listened to and allegations will be investigated, no matter how much time has passed."
NSPCC can be reached: 0808 800 5000 or [email protected]
Children can contact Childline: 0800 1111.