Grandfather jailed for sexual assault

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A Calderdale woman who was sexually assaulted in her home now sees her house as a prison rather than a sanctuary, a court heard.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was attacked by 57-year-old grandfather Colin Whatmough after a night out.

The HGV driver accompanied the woman back to her home, but after using her keys to get into the property he then locked the door and carried out the sexual assault as she lay unconscious on the sofa.

Whatmough believed the house was empty at the time, but the assault was interrupted by the woman’s adult daughter who came downstairs to find her mum partially undressed on a sofa with the defendant on his knees in front of her.

Whatmough, of Cedar Close, Todmorden, “bragged” the next day that he had performed oral sex on the complainant and suggested that she had wanted it.

The defendant denied sexually assaulting the woman during his trial at Bradford Crown Court, but a jury found him guilty of the offence and he was jailed for five years.

The Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC referred to a victim impact statement in which the complainant described the severe psychological effects of the offence. The woman said she had “lost her spark for life” since the attack and had received counselling and medication for depression and anxiety. She said she no longer felt safe and had problems sleeping.

The complainant said she now hated her living room and the house, which had previously been her sanctuary, now “felt like a prison”.

“This incident has made me hate my home,” she said.

Judge Thomas told Whatmough he had been convicted of a very serious sexual offence and it was clear that he had shown a sexual interest in the complainant that night.

“You had it in mind to chance your arm with this woman, disabled as she was, and to have some sort of sexual gratification from her,” the judge told Whatmough.

Judge Thomas said Whatmough had been caught red-handed by the victim’s daughter and the complainant’s statement showed the consequences of sexual offending.

“It isn’t just the physical degradation of the offence, it’s the long-lasting and severe effect psychologically upon the victim that the court needs to look at,” said Judge Thomas.

Whatmough will now have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life and he will also be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which bans him from approaching or contacting the complainant in the future.