A survivor of an unrepentant rapist has bravely spoken out against her attacker to enforce the message that rape inside marriage is still rape.
The woman spent around a year married to John Mitchell from Dundee, who was jailed on Tuesday after a court convicted him of a catalogue of sickening crimes.
The 58-year-old was found guilty of 13 allegations of rape, physical and sexual abuse against three former partners and two children.
Deemed as being at “high risk” of perpetrating further sexual and physical harm, Mitchell was sentenced to 12 years, plus three on licence when his prison term expires.
He committed a number of rapes against three women between August 1988 and 2017 — abusing one of them while she slept — at addresses in Dundee, including two hotels.
Raped on wedding night
One of his victims was his wife for around a year in 2007-08 and spoke to The Courier on the condition we did not use her name.
She said: “He is a horrible, horrible creature.
“He raped me on our wedding night in the Apex Hotel in Dundee.
“I said I couldn’t have sex that night because I had my period but he raped me anyway – he refused to take no for an answer.
“He raped me again in his mum’s house as well as physically assaulting me on several occasions.
“I have suffered for many years because of what he did to me – I have been left to pick up the pieces.
“I haven’t been able to have a sexual relationship since – I have been married again for four years and I can’t let my husband near me because of what that man did to me – but we are working on it.
“I have had to shut myself in a bubble to cope and I have had counselling to try to cope.
“If anything good comes out of this I want it to be that woman can realise they are allowed to say no and mean no – even within a marriage.
“No-one should be allowed to force themselves sexually on to a woman in any circumstances if she has said no and this judgement reinforces that.”
She added: “I feel justice has been done. I am happy with the length of the sentence.
Mitchell abused a child between October 15 1977 and May 23 1981, when she was aged at least eight.
He was convicted of using lewd and libidinous practices, after he was found to have touched the youngster, and pressed his genitals against her.
His latest offence took place between October 1 2017 and November 30 2018, when he sexually assaulted a woman by kneeling and masturbating on her.
The court heard Mitchell tried to escape his past by moving to Wales, with his address given to the court as Boncath Road, Cardiff.
Solicitor Advocate Brian Gilfedder, said: “He continues to deny what he has (done).
“He is aware a custodial sentence will follow.
“He was a hardworking man, he was a relatively young man when the first offences were committed.”
At the High Court in Stirling, Judge Simon Collins grouped the charges together, reflecting their age and the punishment options open to him.
He said: “You were found guilty of 13 offences, four of which were rape.
“Two were sexual or libidinous assault.
“These offences spanned a period of more than 40 years.
“They were perpetrated on one partner after another.
“You maintain your innocence in regard to these offences.
“As is recognised, due to the nature of these offences, nothing but a lengthy custodial sentence is appropriate.
“You have been deemed a high risk of committing serious sexual and physical harm in the future.”
For offences committed between 1977 and 1999, Mitchell was sentenced to five years in prison.
Those perpetrated between 1999 and 2018 resulted in a seven-year consecutive sentence.