Courtroom screens help victim give evidence in historical sex offence case
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A RAPIST who evaded justice for more than three decades will spend the next 15 years behind bars, thanks to the courage of his victim.
Evan Jones of Dre-Fach Felindre, Llandysul, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, October 26.
Earlier this month, the 67-year-old was found guilty of two counts of rape and nine sexual assaults dating back to the 1980s.
He was acquitted of a further count of rape.
All involved the same victim, a girl aged between eight and 11 at the time of the offences.
Investigating officer Damon Watmough said supporting the victim to give evidence had been key to the outcome of the case.
“After all these years, the thought of having to face her abuser in court was understandably anxiety-provoking for the victim,” said Detective Constable Watmough.
“Her evidence was crucial to this case, and thankfully we were able to work with the courts to ensure she was protected by a screen throughout proceedings, enabling her to feel safe while speaking about what happened.
“Screens are just one of the special measures available to help support victims and witnesses to give evidence during traumatic cases, and they can make all the difference.”
Judge Geraint Walters handed Jones a 16-year custodial sentence, with order to serve 15 years minimum in prison, with a further year on licence.
A sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) was also issued.
Added DC Watmough: “It is difficult to come forward when things have been bottled up for so long, but I hope this outcome demonstrates to others who have experienced historic abuse that it is never too late to speak out.
“We'll do everything we can to gather evidence and build a case, no matter how long ago the crime took place, and will support you throughout the whole process.”
If you have been a victim of a crime, report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 101.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Special measures are available to vulnerable and intimidated witnesses with the agreement of the court.
They include the opportunity to give evidence via live link (from another room within the court building, or in some cases from another location entirely), the removal of wigs and gowns by judges and barristers, and communication aids to help those with disabilities.
Victims of sexual offences are automatically guaranteed lifetime anonymity from the moment an allegation is made.
This means the media cannot publish any information that would lead to their identification.
Sexual offences include rape, sexual assault, exposure and taking an indecent photograph of a child.
Anonymity is also extended to victims/alleged victims of female genital mutilation and, in some circumstances, of ‘human trafficking’ and modern slavery.
The only exceptions are when a victim (aged 16 or above) chooses to waive this right, or if a court orders that anonymity be lifted.