One of Winston Reid’s victims was asked to describe him what she thought of him.
“Pure evil. A monster. Like dancing with the Devil.” These are just a few of the used about the man who used rape, blackmail and violence against his victims.
Winston Reid, 55, a fitness instructor who spent years in Northampton, was jailed for 20 years on November 10. He refused to appear in court for his sentencing.
In October, he was found guilty by unanimous verdict by a jury on 17 offences. His crimes included blackmailing a girl into sex by threatening to release indecent photos of her and a “campaign of rape”.
Throughout his offending, he demonstrated how he used fear over his victims. He told one woman he knew “an organisation of dangerous people” who were watching her day and night. She did everything he ordered.
The offences brought to court were committed against two women. But since his guilty verdict, other women have contacted the Chronicle & Echo to share how they too were abused by Winston Reid. A picture is painted of a man who made a 30-year career of dominating and controlling women.
DC Liz Dobson, who led the investigation to put Reid away, said: “He is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. The time frame and span of his crimes is awful.
“He is a dangerous man. His self-assurance and his ability to put his victims in abject fear is horrendous.
“But what he failed to realise is there is something in all of his victims that’s been very righteous and stubborn about not wanting this to happen to anyone else.”
Reid was arrested in 2015 following an appeal on BBC One’s Crimewatch. From this, the evidence of two women in particular would lead to his conviction two years later.
DC Dobson said: “The courage his victims has shown has been inspirational. It has not been a quick process. For some of them, their lives have been on hold for three years. They have shown bravery and selflessness.”
One of Reid’s victim’s was asked if she thought he was a clever man. "No,” she said. “He just thought he was. He read lots of law and psychology books. He knew loopholes he could slip through.”
And so Reid thought he knew enough to defend himself at court. He fired his first two barristers and chose to represent himself.
DC Dobson said: “I imagine what he wanted to do was make the victims so uncomfortable in the witness stand and exert his control over them. They were frightened of him."
But in court, Reid was never allowed to speak to or look his victims in the eye again. He insisted the sexual activity between him and the victims was consensual. He said the two women had “concocted” the allegations. He insinuated one of the girls sought him out for consensual, masochistic sex.
But after a two-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on all these offences. Standing in the box, Reid only hung his head.
The family of one of his victims said after the verdict: “Reid is not safe around women. The world is a safer place with him off the streets.
“He wrecked those girls’ lives and I see no reason why he should have one.”
But a month later, the same family only said they were frustrated and “disappointed” at Reid’s 20-year sentence. They had hoped for life, which would have sent Reid away for 25 years minimum. As it is, he will likely be released on licence in as little as eight.
His Honour Judge Roger Tregilgas said he believed the overall jail term was “the correct sentence”.
He said: “One can only imagine the terror these girls went through.
“We heard from friends how of one of the victims became ‘a wreck’ and ‘a shell of herself’".
Defence counsel Andrew Howard told the court Reid continues to deny his crimes. An indefinite sexual harm prevention order was also made.
When the Chron’s story of Reid’s conviction broke, a woman saw his face for the first time in years – and realised it was the same man who abused her when she was just 16.
She told the Chron: “It’s such a relief to know he’s behind bars. I feel set free. I’ve been looking over my shoulder for years, thinking he would be there.
“He is evil. He beat me and forced me to have sex with him. He threatened me and told me my life wouldn’t be worth living.”
So it was for one of the women whose evidence convicted Reid. She called the police after his appearance on Crimewatch, and has been helping the Crown prosecution for almost three
She told the Chron: “The nightmares aren’t so bad now. Going to court and recounting it all has brought it all back.
“Now he’s been convicted, I feel like a survivor now, not a victim.
“But I think the sentence is a complete joke. Those charges should have added up to 60 years altogether. It doesn’t make me feel safe. When he gets out, he’s going to carry straight on doing it to other girls.
“I’m told when they arrested him he was living out of a homeless hostel. I think I laughed when I heard that,” she said.
“Sometimes I feel guilty. Like if I had come forward sooner I might have stopped him harming others.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever fully trust a man again. He will always be at the back of my mind."