Stalker who raped woman and attacked man with claw hammer changes pleas to guilty (From The Northern Echo)
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Stalker who raped woman and attacked man with claw hammer changes pleas to guilty
A STALKER on trial for raping a woman he was obsessed with and trying to kill her landlord dramatically brought the case to an end - when he changed his pleas.
Anthony Graham admitted the sex attack and a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on what would have been the second day of his trial.
Following discussions with his legal team this morning (Thursday, February 27), the 46-year-old indicated a change of heart and the Teesside Crown Court jury was discharged.
Graham then entered guilty pleas to two of the five charges he faced, and his case was adjourned until April so background reports can be prepared on him.
Judge Peter Bowers ordered the other three counts to lie on file, and told the violent defendant that he faces a lengthy prison sentence when he returns.
The victim told of her terror as she was snatched from her home, tied up and sexually attacked by "wild-eyed" Graham late at night in October last year.
Graham dragged the woman in her pyjamas, dressing gown and bare feet to his mother's bungalow in Redcar, east Cleveland, and threatened to murder her.
He told the "petrified" woman that he was going dump her body in a grave that had already been dug on the moors - by a man he had paid £2,500.
Her evidence - given during a video-recorded interview with police - was shown to the jury on Monday, but that panel had to be discharged following a problem.
A new jury only got as far as hearing the opening of the case by prosecutor Caroline Goodwin before Graham, from Middlesbrough, changed his pleas.
He had also been accused of the attempted murder of the woman's landlord - who he believed was her lover - in a vicious hammer attack days later.
The jury was told that Graham had a "fixation" or "obsession" with his victim, and spied on her through the windows of her temporary home for hours.
He is said to have waited until her landlord left the house on October 6 before he sneaked in, grabbed her from behind and dragged her out.
Recalling the events during the video-recorded interview, the woman said she was "petrified" and said: "He dragged me inside the bungalow and threw me on the bed, tied my wrists together, and all the time he was screaming in my face."
Two days later, Graham, of Doxford Walk, Hemlington, attacked the man with a claw hammer - leaving him with a fractured skull and severe brain damage.
He pleaded guilty to rape and inflicting GBH with intent. The charges of attempted murder, false imprisonment and another rape were ordered to lie on file.