The most “appalling and systematic sexual abuse” on a vulnerable child: Stafford Crown Court sentences man

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A man, who was convicted of 19 counts of sexual assault, has been told by a judge that he carried out the most “appalling and systematic sexual abuse” on a vulnerable child.

Lee Whyman, 57,  was jailed for more than 17 years for the offences.

The charges against Whyman, dated back to the years 1994 to 1999 when the victim would have been aged between nine and 13. Another assault occurred when the victim turned 17.

On the February 21, Stafford Crown court heard the prosecution lawyer, Mr. Jonathan Dickenson, outlining a few of the counts of the sexual assault, which increased in severity the longer Whyman was in contact with the victim.

The court heard how Whyman, from Penygraig Terrace in Pontypool, Gwent, would threaten the victim whenever she considered contacting the police, friends or family, stating how no one would believe her.

Despite this, the victim reported his assaults in 1999 only to withdraw the complaint later and was forced to apologise to Whyman. 

The judge, Micheal Chambers, was reminded of the victim’s impact statement, in which she claims the assault robbed her of her childhood and affected how she viewed sexual relations in her life.

The victim, the full gallery heard, was later diagnosed with anxiety and depression, only made more severe by giving a statement in court. 

The court debated how the sentencing would change under the new Sexual Offences Act of 2003 compared to the earlier guidance of sentencing laid out in the 1956 Sexual Offences Act, as the offences took place prior to the 2003 act.

The defence, led by Mr. Paul Cliff, argued that there was no severe psychological harm and that the offending did not include severe violence, stating that the victim also wasn’t of extreme youth.

Mr. Cliff continued to argue that Whyman, who was dressed in a burgundy jumper, “is a hard-working man” who provides for his family and has even enquired about finding work in the custodial environment, stating that the “impact upon him at 57 is likely to be traumatic”.

Whyman, Mr. Cliff argued, has a 28-year-old son who is awaiting a life-saving transplant, an elderly mother, and a wife who does not work.

The judge heard how Wyman has not offended again since 2001 and is at low risk of offending again.

When the sentencing began, his honourable judge Micheal Chambers, listed a few of the counts of sexual assault, which included two charges of rape. Judge Chambers stated to Whyman that this was “a gross breach of trust of a vulnerable child”.

Judge Chambers then announced that the charges would be concurrent, totalling in 17 and a half years imprisonment with the possibility of release on licence only to be considered halfway through his imprisonment. 

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