Cambridgeshire woman on her 33-year fight for justice against husband who kidnapped and raped her

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Claire McGlasson

A woman who was told her husband raping her was not a crime has described how she finally won justice - more than 30 years after he attacked her then killed another young woman.

Marital rape was not illegal in 1987 when Colin Hill kidnapped Janet Cameron, drove her out to woods near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, then raped her, following years of abuse.

She managed to escape by crawling behind a pub’s bar and hiding in a car. Two weeks later, Hill raped and killed teenager Leanne Scott.

While she saw her ex jailed over the murder, Ms Cameron never thought she would see justice for herself. But after the laws changed, she finally got to see Hill sent back behind bars for what he did to her.

After waiving her anonymity following his conviction last year, Ms Cameron told ITV News Anglia she was encouraging other survivors to step forward and report historical crimes.

She urged them: “Get justice and seek help."

Janet Cameron and Colin Hill Credit: Cambridgeshire police

Ms Cameron met Hill when she was 16. At 17 they were engaged and they married a week after she was 18. 

The years of abuse Ms Cameron, of Sawtry in Cambridgeshire, suffered reached a climax in 1987 when Hill kidnapped her and drove out to woods nearby.

She managed to escape but just weeks later, Hill raped and murdered 17-year-old Leanne Scott - a crime for which he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years in 1987.

Janet Cameron was abused by her husband Colin Hill in the 1980s Credit: Janet Cameron

Reflecting on her kidnapping, Ms Cameron said she felt she had come close to death.

“I did have to think very, very quickly because he had already said to me that he didn’t know what he was going to do with me.

"He [said he] would keep me for a few days and then decide and at that point I knew 'this is it'. 

“Obviously I was married to him. I’ve been beaten by him and raped by him and so I knew this was it. It was now. I’ve got to escape. But two weeks later he raped and murdered Leanne Scott."

Leanne Scott was killed by Colin Hill Credit: Kelly Whitmore

It was more than 30 years later that Ms Cameron finally managed to get justice, thanks in part to the notes made by doctors on her records of the many injuries she had suffered during her marriage to Hill.

Ms Cameron said: “Nowadays you can’t think that this actually did happen but it did. There’s that old saying: nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors. Nobody ever knows, do they?”

When Hill was released on licence in 2018, after serving time for Ms Scott's murder, Ms Cameron was told that a change in the law meant she could finally seek justice.

In April 2020 he was jailed for his offences against her after admitting charges of abduction, rape and three counts of ABH.

Colin Hill Credit: Cambridgeshire police

Ms Cameron now wants to encourage anybody who has been in the same situation to go to the police.

She said: “It’s given me strength and I want to pass this strength on to other people to say that if I can do it, of all people, if I can do it then you definitely can do it and get justice and seek help.”

Throughout the trial Leanne Scott's sister, Kelly Whitmore, has been by Ms Cameron's side.

Ms Whitmore said: “I don’t think we’ll ever feel that he has paid enough. He’ll never pay enough to us as a family. But he’s paying and he no longer has a victim.

“Seeing someone that suffered so, so much - horrific abuse - to finally get justice after 33 years is just everything.”

Detective Elaine Penniket of Cambridgeshire Police built the case with Ms Cameron in 2018 when Hill was due to be released from prison.

She said: "I just want to commend Janet for coming forward; reporting is not easy, engaging in the criminal justice system is not easy but she did both with such courage and resilience.

"After all she has been through, it was a privilege to witness her voice being heard in court and to see Hill held responsible for his actions."

Domestic abuse help and support:

The NHS says domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone.