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horror abuse Woman who was repeatedly raped by a relative's partner tells of her relief at getting justice


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Giltrap raped the girl from the age of 10 to 15

Giltrap raped the girl from the age of 10 to 15

Giltrap raped the girl from the age of 10 to 15

A woman who was repeatedly raped by a relative's partner from the age of 10 until she was 15 has expressed her relief that her abuser been jailed for 11 years.

John Giltrap (60) from Termonbarry, Hospital Hill, Bunclody, Co Wexford has expressed no remorse for his repeated abuse of the girl from 1978 to 1984.

The twisted predator had convinced his victim that every girl was being abused in Ireland and no one was allowed talk about it.

Last week, Judge Michael McGrath sentenced Giltrap to 11 years after he was convicted on 20 counts of rape following a lengthy trial at the Central Criminal Court. It was the third time the case had been heard after one trial ended with a hung jury and another was declared a mistrial.

His victim, who is now an adult, requested that the Sunday World be allowed name Giltrap following his conviction and the judge agreed, but directed that the victim cannot be named due the way the law currently stands.

Sharon (not her real name) told the Sunday World that she was pleased with the sentence but had Giltrap admitted what he had done and said sorry before putting her through the ordeal of three trials, she would have asked the judge to be lenient on him.

However, Giltrap, who is a father of four, remains remorseless for what he subjected Sharon to during her childhood.

Before he was sentenced, Sharon looked Giltrap in the eye and told him the damage he had done.

"You took away my childhood and my young teenage life. You made me feel like this was a normal thing to happen to every little girl. You never expressed any remorse or guilt.

"I couldn't even bond with my first daughter when she was born, because I thought I wouldn't be able to protect her as no one bothered to protect me. But I'm no longer that scared little girl and today I get the justice I deserve."

Sharon told the Sunday World Giltrap had been in a relationship with a relative of hers when the abuse began back in 1979.

"It was five years. It was almost every day. I'd be running home from school to watch Bosco and he'd grab me in the yard," she said.

Regret

"It was absolutely horrendous. You couldn't say anything in those days because no one would believe you. He'd convince you of that.

"He had me thinking all my friends and everyone was going through the same and nobody was allowed to talk about anything.

"He'd tie your hands behind your back and everything. He'd pin you down. There was no getting away from him."

Sharon said she believed Giltrap when he told her no one would have believed her if she came forward when the abuse was happening in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

"They wouldn't have believed me. I even tell my mother to this day she wouldn't have believed me at the time."

Giltrap never showed any regret or remorse after the sickening attacks and told Sharon to keep quiet.

"Afterwards, he'd just get up and walk away and say 'it's our secret you can't tell anyone'.

"It was the same every time, even when I got my period at 12 or 13. I had passed blood before but it stopped and this time it didn't stop and I told him 'I need to go to the doctor, you made me bleed and you're after injuring me and it won't stop.' He said 'that's just your yoke', that was the word he used. Then he said 'we just have to be careful now,' and that was it."

The abuse only stopped after five years when Sharon threatened to go the gardai to report Giltrap.

"It was only when I was 15 and my friends were getting boyfriends that I knew it wasn't right. I told him to stop or I was going to the guards. It ended after that.

Sharon said she told one family member about the abuse in 1992 but other than that told no-one for years, including her first husband.

"I remarried since and I told my current husband when I met him in 2007. I just blocked it out when I was rearing my own children and then in 2017 I just decided that's it, I'm going to report him. He denied everything."

Sharon said it was such a relief when she went to the guards to report Giltrap and Garda Sharon Hanlon took her statement.

"When I went up to the guards and she told me she believed me it was such a relief to tell someone and then they say 'I believe you'."

Giltrap admitted to gardai he did have sex with Sharon but falsely claimed it only happened when she was 16 and it was consensual.

However, a jury saw through his pack of lies and convicted him on 20 counts of rape.

Before sentencing, Judge McGrath said a conviction on even one count of rape was extremely serious and Giltrap had been convicted on 20 counts.

Lenient

"The offences had a very significant effect on her life," the judge said. He added that the offences were compounded by the position of trust Giltrap was in and an aggravating factor was that he has shown no remorse.

He said while 15 years would be an appropriate sentence there were a number of mitigating factors including Giltrap's lack of previous convictions and that the offences happened more than 35 years ago.

The judge said Giltrap had left school at a young age and had no formal qualifications.

"He engaged in working life and sporting life in the community where he lives. He has no previous convictions."

Sharon said she was pleased with the 11-year sentence handed down by Judge McGrath.

"I was very happy with the sentence. I didn't think he'd get that at all. I thought he might get six or seven years.

"If he had the sense to plead guilty and said sorry I wouldn't have minded if he got no sentence. I probably would have asked the judge myself to be lenient on him but instead he dragged us through three trials."

Sharon said she is glad she can finally name Giltrap.

"I think it's important to have him named to protect others so when he gets out they know who he is.

"I just hope it shows people who have gone through similar experiences that you can get justice."

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