A BRAVE rape victim has revealed her pride at standing up in court to her now-70-year-old attacker who has been jailed for 21 years.
Stephen Boyt, from Hythe, is likely to die in prison for “horrible” crimes a jury convicted him of committing against the woman over an 11-year period which started more than three decades ago.
In a defiant statement to Southampton Crown Court, where Boyt was sentenced, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said she was determined to move on with her life.
She said she was proud of herself for speaking out and grateful to the criminal justice system for hearing her voice.
“When I spoke out, it felt like 20,000 breeze blocks had been removed from my head and, when the verdict came back, felt like 28,000 more had been lifted,” she said.
“It was such a relief that I had spoken out and people had listened and were doing something about it. I now know that I am not a victim – I am a survivor.”
She continued: “I was a nervous wreck going to court. But I did what I needed to do by giving evidence and, where once I felt trapped, I now feel relieved.
“When the [guilty] verdicts came I felt lighter and it was an indescribable thing being there and hearing confirmation that someone had listened to me.”
She added: “I am now starting to feel stronger in myself and can now express myself with friends, and this has had a positive impact on my relationships.
“I do not feel I will ever be 100% and it will be a slow process. But I feel I can now see a future clearer than I could before.
“I feel more able to take life in my stride and look forward to new adventures and making plans for the future.”
At Southampton Crown Court Judge Christopher Parker sent down Boyt, who was previously found guilty at a trial of eight counts of indecent assault and one count of rape.
The offences were committed in the 1980s and 1990s.
Boyt, of Beech Crescent, had pleaded not guilty to all counts and maintained his innocence, the court heard.
At the sentencing he was castigated by Judge Parker for what he said were “horrible” crimes. He told Boyt: “She was a psychological prisoner of your predation.”
As for mitigation, there could be “none” in respect of the “catalogue” of crimes, the judge said. “The effect upon her has been devastation and a wasting of her life.”
Defence barrister Mark Ashley revealed in court that Boyt was “not a well man”.
On remand in prison he had collapsed three times and lumps had been discovered in his chest by doctors, although the diagnosis of those was not clear.
Mr Ashley also pointed out that Boyt had not offended for 28 years until these allegations came to light.
Because of Boyt’s age and the likelihood he will spend most of the rest of his life – if not all of it – in prison, the judge declined to determine that the defendant was a dangerous offender.
Judge Parker made it clear that because the offences were historical, they had been charged under a 1956 act, which limited the length of sentence he could impose.
He gave Boyt nine years in jail for the indecent assault offences and added 12 more for the rape.
Boyt will serve at least 12 years of that term in prison but could end up doing as much as 20 years – should he survive that long, the judge added.