One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
24 Year Sentence For Kidnap and Rape of Chester Jogger
Peter Watton refuses to enter court to be told he'll serve at least 20 years behind bars.
The sentencing started with the defence telling the court that Peter Lee Watton had "expressly declined to be present" for the hearing at Chester Crown Court, with the judge saying that he did not wish to put any of the prison officers safety at risk by forcing him to come to court.
Watton, 37, was found guilty last month eight counts of rape, two of assault by penetration, one of false imprisonment and another of being in possession of a knife.
Back in June 2013 the man with 26 convictions had only been released from prison to days earlier after being found guilty of kidnapping two teenagers back in 2010, when he lay in wait on the Duke's Drive in Chester, pushing a jogger into the woods, and subjecting her to a nine hour ordeal where she was repeatedly raped.
The prosecution read extracts from a Victim impact statement, saying she was 'a very fit woman who enjoyed running, always running familiar routes, always felt safe. Never thought she could be the victim of this sort of crime'.
She said she no longer feels safe; sacred of strangers, scared of men, feels unsafe when out of the house and relies on her partner, looking to him as a safe haven.
The statement said she finds it extremely difficult to discuss the case outside of her close family. A number of friends have noticed a change in her behaviour, but is unable to talk about what happened. She also says she feels embarrassment, feels great feelings of unhappiness and disparity, suffering with nightmares and worrying about if she will every be able to be intimate enough to have children.
The Recorder of Chester Judge Elgan Edwards said that "The defendant showed no signs of remorse, putting together a ludicrous tail that she had consented."
"In my judgement, the defendant, Mr Peter Watton, now 37, came over as a dominating and extremely dangerous man. A man who was controlling, and would have his own way no matter what"
"This is the worse case of rape and repeated rape I have had the misfortune to come across. There is not the shadow of doubt that he is a very dangerous man.
"He is a significant risk of considerable harm to the community, especially woman."
Watton was sentenced to 24 years in prison with a minimum of 20 years. The Recorder also extended his licence to 4 years when released, "in the hope when he is released, he will be under licence, and keep him for committing further serious crime."
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