By Dave Toomer
Police and a judge have paid tribute to the bravery of two women who were sexually abused in Wythenshawe by a vile pervert when they were young girls.
Christopher Newton, 42, of Stoneacre Road, Woodhouse Park has been jailed for 13 and a half years for raping one victim when she was just five years old, and abusing another.
Newton begins his sentence today (October 11) after a jury found him guilty following a trial at Manchester Crown Court earlier this year.
During the trial, Newton tried to intimidate his rape victim and heckle her from the dock as she gave evidence.
The victim, now 24, recorded a video interview with police and could have given evidence from behind a screen, but instead chose to be present in court to face her attacker.
Newton had been repeatedly warned about his behaviour during the two week trial.
After Newton shouted at the victim, Judge Lindsey Kushner gave him the choice of leaving the dock or listen in silence to the woman’s harrowing account.
But the victim bravely confronted Newton from the witness box and said: “I think you should stay and listen to what you have done and hear what effect it has had.”
After a jury convicted Newton of one count of rape, one of indecency with a child and five indecent assaults, Judge Kushner said: “To see her square up in court was an education. She seemed determined to see it through and show she was not frightened of him.”
The court heard how Newton raped his victim when she was about 10 years old and later apologised, offering her a can of lager in a bid to keep her quiet.
Before the rape, Newton had sexually assaulted his victim on several occasions starting when she was about five years old, warning he would hurt her if she told anyone.
During another assault Newton began to inhale a tube of superglue and tried to force his victim to sniff it.
On another occasion he had smuggled her into a hostel he was living in and sexually abused her in his room, but was interrupted by one of the residents.
Newton was also found guilty of sexually assaulting another victim by penetration and was cleared of one indecent assault on a third girl.
Those witnesses, now 21 and 16, gave evidence via live video link.
The victims had complained to the police about Newton after contact was made via Facebook.
Newton had denied all allegations claiming the victims had lied
Prosecuting, Alex Leach had described Newton as “a bully, a sexual abuser and now a coward in trying to lie his way out of what he did.”Square to 13 and a half years in prison.
Newton has also been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
The abuse took place at an address in the Wythenshawe area of Manchester.
One of his victims said in a statement : “To put in a short amount of words how the abuse has affected me is impossible. I have very few happy memories from the past as the memories of him outweigh anything else. I feel a huge weight has been lifted since he has been found guilty.
“If he would have had the courage to admit what he had done when the police approached him first, he could have saved a lot of hurt for us but I didn’t expect that from his cowardly self.
“Regardless of his sentence given to him, it will always affect my life and be there at the back of my thoughts.”
His other victim said: “I was about five years old when the abuse began, it is very hard when you are a child as you don’t have ‘a voice’.
“I am very nervous and don’t have a lot of confidence as a result of my ordeal. I particularly get uncomfortable around men – I am paranoid about their motives.
“When I do, I get agitated I think this has been caused by my fear that he will return and find me. I felt and still feel ashamed that it is my fault. This has been humiliating for me in my adult life. Personally, I do not think I will ever get over what jehas done.
Detective Constable Barry Carmichael from South Manchester division, said: “Newton’s abuse of these girls is difficult for most people to comprehend and for him to make them relive those horrible events through a trial is just terrible.
“He subjected his victims to sustained sexual assaults over a number of years and manipulated his victims into thinking somehow they were responsible for the abuse.
“Both girls have been incredibly brave by helping us put Newton before the courts and have justice done for them. He is now where he belongs and thankfully will not be able to harm anyone else.
“We take all reports of sexual abuse seriously, no matter how old you are or how long ago the crime happened and this should give others the confidence to come forward.”
Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.
St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, can also be contacted on 101. This provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.