Ex-soldier jailed for sex attacks

 

A former soldier who carried out a string of sex attacks has been jailed indefinitely.

Judge Nicholas Price QC described Brian Witty, 41, as a "predatory rapist" as he told the former Territorial Army Parachute Regiment captain he would serve at least eight years before he could be considered for release.

Witty, who told one victim who rejected him: "I don't believe this, I'm a good-looking bloke", was convicted last month of three rapes and one sexual assault on four women between 1995 and 2011.

Judge Price, sentencing Witty at Kingston Crown Court today, told him he was a "bullying, self-obsessed, arrogant sexual predator who was determined to indulge in fulfilling your desires, irrespective and dismissive of their pleas".

Witty, of Twickenham Road, in Teddington, south-west London, met two of his victims through a dating website and preyed on the others after chance encounters in bars.

But after he was arrested he claimed the sexual encounters were consensual.

Judge Price jailed him for six years for a rape in 1995, to run concurrently with three separate indeterminate sentences for two other rapes and a sexual assault.

Witty was told he would serve a minimum of eight years behind bars.

Handing down his sentence, Judge Price said: "There is no doubt in my mind that you present a very real danger to women, and the only appropriate sentence in your case is one of imprisonment for public protection.

"It is clear to me you set out to prey on vulnerable women.

"You hid your base intentions behind a veneer of charm and lulled your victims into a false sense of security.

"Each of them was beguiled into believing that with your military background and apparent social attributes that you were a gentleman and would behave as one.

"Each of your victims described in chilling evidence how you went from being plausible and caring into a bullying, self-obsessed, arrogant sexual predator who was determined to indulge in fulfilling your desires, irrespective and dismissive of their pleas that you should desist."

Despite being arrested and interviewed after the rape at his home address in 1995, again after a sexual assault in 2006 and after another rape in 2008, charges were never brought by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Judge Price told Witty: "The consequences meant you considered yourself to be untouchable by the authorities.

"With the benefit of hindsight it is perhaps too easy to say that, had you been successfully prosecuted in 1995, you may well not have been free to commit these other later serious offences."

It was only after Witty was arrested following a fourth attack in August last year, during which Judge Price said he changed from being "charming and good company" to a "demanding, frightening and determined rapist" that charges were brought.

Judge Price praised the women for coming forward again after so many years, saying if it had not been for the determination of Witty's last victim he may never have been brought to justice.

The attacks had "a clear and obvious and serious effect for each of his victims", prosecutor Edmund Gritt said.

A statement from his first victim read: "When I heard the verdict I was happy. I thought I would be happier, but I wasn't.

"The fact is, what happened to me 17 years ago has shaped who I am today, emotionally and physically. Memories I thought I had escaped are still there.

"My challenge is to move on from this, but the problem with moving on is that I will never forget. It is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life."

A statement from Witty's final victim read: "There have been times when I struggled to ever see a way forward through all this, yet I know I have to.

"The guilty verdict doesn't change the past. I still have to find a way to live with myself now, a changed and different person from that that I was before."

Judge Price said: "If anyone ever doubted the devastating long-term consequences of rape and sexual assault, these statements provide eloquent testimony against such doubt."

Witty was placed on the sex offenders register for life, and if released will be on licence for life.

Detective Inspector Michael Murfin, from the Metropolitan Police, said: "Brian Witty's conviction and sentence comes following a detailed and dedicated investigation by specialist detectives who worked tirelessly to gather the evidence required to prosecute him and to also support the women he raped and sexually assaulted.

"We want victims to have the confidence that we are here for them, will believe them and will conduct our investigations professionally.

"We want rapists and those committing other sex offences to know that our dedicated teams are committed to ensuring we arrest them - I hope that Witty's conviction today helps to reinforce that message.

"Brian Witty is a predatory rapist and I would urge anyone who thinks they may have been raped or sexually assaulted by him to contact the police.

"Lastly I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the women who Witty raped and sexually assaulted.

"I would like to thank them each for their courage in coming forward to report their ordeals and having the strength to give evidence against him in court."

PA

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
News
i100
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
News
Bey can do it: Beyoncé re-enacts Rosie the Riveter's pose
newsRosie the Riveter started out as an American wartime poster girl and has become a feminist pin-up. With Beyoncé channeling her look, Gillian Orr tells her story
Life and Style
Donna and Paul Wheatley at their wedding
healthShould emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit