'I HOPE I never have to go through 365 days like that again,' says Gill Martin, with a sigh of relief. The dark clouds in her eyes match the rain clouds that sweep past the windows of the Philippine Airlines jet at 3,000 metres as we descend towards Manila. Formerly based in Hong Kong, Gill has just spent the kind of year that other people shudder about in their worst nightmares. On November 22, last year, she was caught in the crossfire that killed Sun Yee On triad boss Andely Chan Yiu-hing in Macau, suffering a bullet wound in a leg. Seven months later, on June 17, while recuperating on the Philippine holiday island of Boracay, she was raped by a tricycle driver, Noel Martin. Another five months later, at 2.30 pm last Monday, Noel Martin was sentenced to 30 years in jail and despatched to the maximum security Bilibid prison in Muntilupa, one of the harshest in the world. For Gill, the verdict brings not only a sense of relief, but a sense of fulfilment. 'Justice has been done,' she says, a cry echoed by NBI arresting officer Ric Diaz and prosecution counsel Emmanuel Pena, who see it as a triumph for the Philippine legal system, as well as for foreigners who become tangled within it. 'Judge Niovady Marin made a very clever verdict,' Gill says. 'He handed out 30 years' jail, plus 333,000 peso costs (HK$107,226) when he could easily have made a big name for himself in a high-profile case being watched by everybody, including President Fidel Ramos, by passing down the death sentence as is customary under Philippine law. 'I am very happy with the outcome and I'm glad Noel Martin is not able to sit in a bar and brag about what he has done to me and feel it is OK, as he did on the night of the rape. I feel a sense of completion rather than a sense of elation. 'I don't think I could ever again go through what I have endured over the last 365 days. I hope I never have to, and given the odds, I imagine I never will.' Gill adds: 'I admit it was my determination to see justice done that put Noel Martin in jail, but I nearly gave up after the first phase of the four-phase trial. I was so nervous giving evidence in the dock that I nearly threw up. And then, when I had to walk over and touch Noel Martin on the shoulder as the man who raped me, well . . . 'But I persisted because I was angry, I was angry because I became a victim in the Andely Chan assassination and I was angry at the man who raped me and I felt he should be punished. He simply had to go behind bars. 'I hope that something good can come out of all this and that more foreigners will hang in there over the several months it takes to make a case and therefore get more convictions. 'A number of people like Noel Martin are getting away with rape because they feel the foreigner has neither the time nor the money to prosecute. Also, some of them feel foreigners are easy and sexually promiscuous. That is not true.' In spite of her ordeal, Gill has managed to retain a positive outlook. 'Despite everything that has happened to me, I will stay in Asia, I will certainly revisit Macau and I will certainly revisit the Philippines. 'I am very indebted to my boyfriend, [computer marketing executive] Hugh Sutherland, who was with me in Macau, and who only narrowly missed being shot himself, and who backed me all the way through the Boracay ordeal. 'The best thing to come out of this year is that Hugh and I are going to get married. Also, after being consumed with the trial for four months, I have now got a new job in Singapore and I am working again. That's going a long way to easing the pain of everything that I have been through.' 'The memory of what happened will never be erased,' she says. 'I still get nightmares. It takes the form of being attacked. It starts off as a straight forward situation and suddenly turns into a nightmare. I feel like someone is trying to kill me. I may have to live with that for the rest of my life.'