July 2008

Sexual predator who raped three children given life sentence

AN East Devon man who raped and sexually abused three children has been given an indeterminate life prison sentence.

Sexual predator Nicholas Wescott, 47, was told by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court: “Whatever test one applies to dangerousness, you meet the requirements and the only proper sentence is one of imprisonment for the sake of the public and children in particular

“Each of the offences committed by you involves extremely serious sexual conduct.

“Ordinary, decent people would be unable to contemplate how you could abuse these children in such a serious way.

“It was an enormous breach of trust when you were meant to be looking after, and protecting them.

“Instead you treated them like sex objects to do with as you wished. The consequences of your actions are likely to be serious and permanent.”

The judge said that while pleading guilty Wescott was now in significant denial and had, in effect, retracted the admissions made by his pleas.

“There is no remorse, no contrition, no understanding and no empathy by you for your victims,” said Judge Cottle. “You do not show any inclination of understanding what you did and the risk posed by you is extremely high.

“It is quite clear that you have a serious sexual interest in children and forever you will pose a risk to children. You have shown no inclination to change and I assure you that you will not be released until you do.”

Wescott, of Budleigh Salterton, committed the offences in Wales and Devon. His victims were aged between seven and 12 and Wescott offered one of them bribes to commit ‘rude acts’.

Prosecutor Emma Smith said the offences were discovered after a chance remark by a girl not the subject of any of the charges against Wescott. Her comments led to the police launching a full investigation and the picture of Wescott’s sexual deviancy unfolded.

At one stage, Wescott blamed Viagra for his problems, then said he suffered from depression after an unwanted sexual encounter on a nudist beach he used to visit.

He initially made complete denials that anything had happened and said the children were lying. He later pleaded guilty, although when talking to a probation officer following his pleas he was substantially in denial.

Mitigating, Rupert Taylor said Wescott found it difficult to talk about what he had done and was “clutching at straws”.

“By his pleas of guilty he has sought to limit the damage and spare the victims the ordeal of having to re-live what happened to them under cross-examination.”

Wescott admitted child rape, three offences of sexual activity with a child and four of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and banned from working with children.

Judge Cottle said had he been passing a determinate sentence it would have been 10 years, which meant that the minimum time Wescott must stay behind bars before even being considered for parole was five years.

“The overwhelming likelihood is that you will spend considerably more time than that in prison,” said the judge.