Former TA soldier from South Shields jailed for raping teenager

Alan Watkins
Alan Watkins

A former TA soldier from South Tyneside has been jailed after his rape victim bravely broke her silence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Alan Watkins’ sickening attack left the frightened teenager feeling like she was “stuck in a box” and unable to report her terrible ordeal.

Last year, she felt able to involve the authorities. Up unitl then, she felt like she was just ‘stuck in a box’.

Judge Sloan

But, four years later - and after a trial in which the victim had to give evidence against him - the 36-year-old rapist, of Wharton Street, South Shields, was yesterday jailed for nine years.

At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Paul Sloan QC told Watkins: “Your offending has had, and continues to have, a very significant effect upon her, effecting every part of her life and her ability to trust others.

“She remains badly effected. This was a serious offence.”

Judge Sloan said Watkins must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The court heard the victim now has regular appointments with her GP to cope with suicidal thoughts and has been referred to a psychiatrist.

Watkins had denied rape but was convicted by a jury.

In interview with detectives, and during the trial, Watkins denied there was any sexual activity between him and his victim.

Jurors heard the attack happened at a house in 2011, after Watkins had been on a night out at the pub.

The victim, who said she “froze” during the attack, had been asleep on a sofa before the ordeal.

After the attack, the victim fled the house in the middle of the night in a ‘state of distress’.

Judge Sloan said: “Last year, she felt able to involve the authorities. Up unitl then, she felt like she was just ‘stuck in a box’.”

David Callan, defending, said Watkins served in the territorial army for three years and, for the last six years, has been employed as a labourer, working on a casual basis.

Mr Callan said Watkins has no relevant previous convictions and has no offences on his record since 2006.

The court heard Watkins’ criminal record consists of otherwise relatively minor offending.