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St Athan man convicted of 35 sexual abuse offences

A MAN who raped and sexually abused a child over an eight-year period has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Michael Whilding, 65, from St Athan, was convicted of 35 counts including two count of rape, two counts of attempted rape, indecent assault, and indecency with a child following a trial in March.

He had denied all the allegations.

A victim personal statement by one of Whilding’s victims described her ordeal.

“The abuse I suffered at his hands has impacted my whole life, mainly my mental health and confidence,” she said.

“He took everything, he took my childhood, he took my confidence, made me feel dirty and just worthless.”

On Monday, April 12 Whilding was sentenced by Newport Crown Court to 16 years imprisonment.

He must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before he can be referred to a parole board to consider his release.

Detective Constable Julie Lewis said: “South Wales Police takes all reports of sexual violence extremely seriously and it is never too late to report a crime.

“Both victims have displayed great strength and courage in reporting these offences and giving evidence at the trial. They have been inspirational.

“We hope knowing that the Michael Whilding has received a significant prison sentence provides some relief to them and a sense that justice has been served.

“Help and support is available for all victims of sexual violence and we would encourage any victims; no matter how long ago the offence happened, to please come forward.”

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