Detective Chief Inspector Claire McGuigan speaking outside court following the sentencing of Gary and Heather Talbot
Detectives from PSNI's Public Protection Branch have welcomed the sentences handed down at Laganside Court today to Gary and Heather Talbot from Newcastle.
60 year old Gary Talbot was sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to sexual offences including rape of a child and gross indecency, as well as making a distributing indecent images of a child.
His wife Heather Talbot, aged 59 plead guilty to charges including aiding and abetting rape and gross indecency.
Welcoming the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Claire McGuigan said: “This was a hugely disturbing and harrowing case of the most awful abuse and I am thankful today that Gary and Heather Talbot have received a significant custodial sentence and will remain in prison for some time.
The sentence handed down today reflects the serious and shocking nature of the crimes they committed against a young, vulnerable and innocent child.
It is hard to comprehend the impact their crimes have had on the victim and her family.
I would like to pay tribute to the victim and her family for their courage and commitment in seeing this case through the criminal justice system and they have today, finally achieved justice.
I hope that others who are suffering sexual abuse or who are aware of sexual crimes taking place are encouraged to come forward and speak with Police. We have specially trained detectives in our Public Protection Branch, and they will treat you sensitively, fairly, with compassion and respect.”
STATEMENT FROM VICTIM
“I am glad that my abusers have finally faced justice and will have to serve time in prison for what they did to me.
I was only a child when they took my innocence away. The abuse left me traumatised and upset as they betrayed my trust in the most despicable way. The trauma caused me to lose all my childhood memories and develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The past year has been very difficult for me, my family and friends. I would like to thank them for being there for me, not only for every court hearing but for supporting me day to day as I have struggled to come to terms with my abuse.
I would also like to thank the police detective who investigated my case. She has been thorough and dedicated whilst at the same time being compassionate, caring and kind to me.
Pursuing justice has been a long process however seeing my abusers jailed has given me renewed strength and I am now looking forward to the future in which I’m hoping to become a counsellor as counselling has been essential in my recovery and thank you to my counsellor as you have inspired me to help others overcome traumatic experiences.
I would really like to thank and commend all survivors of sexual abuse for your amazing strength as it has helped me to fight to get my justice.
Together we will send a message across the world that there is no shame in being a survivor of sexual abuse - the shame is on the abuser.”