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The divorced couple is imprisoned for molesting a 12-year-old girl – but they may be free within a few months

A five-year-old mother who helped her husband rap a 12-year-old could be free in months, despite the shocking history of the couple abusing children

  • A former couple with a serious criminal record about child abuse is imprisoned
  • The husband and wife were convicted of insulting a 12-year-old in the 1980s
  • They received a combined sentence of just 52 months for their crimes
  • The now 43-year-old victim cried while she testified during the trial

A former couple who already have a significant criminal record for sexually abused children were imprisoned in the 1980s for insulting a 12-year-old girl in Perth.

Douglaas Stephan Withnell, 68, and his ex-wife Bethany Jayne Gilmore, 66, were found guilty of having the girl’s carnal knowledge. He was also convicted of dealing with her indecently.

Withnell was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday in the WA court, while Gilmore was sentenced to 16 months behind bars.

The now 43-year-old victim, who cannot be named, cried while she testified during the trial.

Douglaas Stephan Withnell, 68, and his ex-wife Bethany Jayne Gilmore, 66, were found guilty of having the girl's carnal knowledge; he was also convicted of indecent handling of her (stock image)

Douglaas Stephan Withnell, 68, and his ex-wife Bethany Jayne Gilmore, 66, were found guilty of having the girl’s carnal knowledge, he was also convicted of indecent handling of her (stock image)

She said she was being taken to a dark bedroom where Withnell raped her on a bed, while Gilmore held her hand and repeatedly said to her, “If it hurts, squeeze my hand.”

Withnell also improperly touched the victim during a separate bathroom incident.

Justice Joseph McGrath described the crime as corrupt and premeditated.

The former couple had previously been convicted of comparable sexual abuse and the court heard that totality was a factor in the conviction.

Justice McGrath accepted that Gilmore was an “assistant” to her dominant partner, but said she was not acting under the threat of violence.

“You did what you did because you chose it, ultimately,” he said.

Justice McGrath acknowledged that the mother of five had offered to plead guilty for one indictment and had written a letter to the court in which she was ashamed, but he said she had limited regret.

Withnell had shown no remorse or empathy, he said.

The court heard that Withnell’s health problems include mobility problems, emphysema and a mild form of leukemia.

Gilmore also has some health problems, including a back injury and hearing and vision disorders.

Her lawyer had insisted on a suspended sentence, but justice McGrath said the violation was too serious.

Both offenders are eligible for conditional release after half of their respective terms.

Withnell was sentenced to three years in prison in the WA court (above) on Monday, while Gilmore was sentenced to 16 months behind bars

Withnell was sentenced to three years in prison in the WA court (above) on Monday, while Gilmore was sentenced to 16 months behind bars

Withnell was sentenced to three years in prison in the WA court (above) on Monday, while Gilmore was sentenced to 16 months behind bars

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