AN ex-soldier was jailed for serious sexual and physical assaults on a woman who a court heard has suffered psychological harm as a result.

David Stokoe was given a prison sentence totalling 15 years and nine months after he was convicted for four of the seven alleged offences on which he was charged, on the ninth day of his trial at Durham Crown Court.

The 33-year-old former serviceman denied all seven charges, three of rape, two other sexual assaults, and two of assault causing actual bodily harm.

But the jury returned a majority 10-2 ‘guilty’ verdict on one count of rape, plus unanimous ‘guilty’ verdicts on one of the sexual assaults and both charges of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Stokoe was cleared of the two further rape charges and one other count of sexual assault, also following unanimous verdicts.

The court was then read the impact statement of the victim who spoke of losing her self-esteem and confidence, due to the defendant’s actions.

She even said that she felt it has “destroyed” her life, while she has been “petrified” of bumping into her attacker, while he was on bail prior to the case.

In an added, updated statement, following his conviction, but prior to Stokoe learning his fate, the woman added: “No matter what the sentence, I feel like it’s my life sentence.”

Addressing Judge Simon Hickey, Rupert Doswell, prosecuting, said: “The Crown would say there has been quite severe psychological harm, reading those statements.”

Vince Ward, mitigating, told the court: “This is a man who has served his country well, in reaching the rank of corporal in the Army, and being discharged with ‘exemplary’ status.

“He’s never been to prison before, and, on any view, it’s going to be a lengthy sentence.

“The knowledge of that has come as a profound shock to him and the family from who he still enjoys support, several having been in attendance at court throughout the case.”

Judge Hickey said because of the trial process, the victim has had to re-live her ordeal.

“The victim impact statement, itself, is very graphic.

“I have heard her give evidence, and, that too, was graphic, speaking of the ‘intensive pain’ he caused her.

“In mitigation, we have heard of his exemplary military service, but he has previous offences, which although they are of some age, I believe are relevant as they do demonstrate the propensity of a man, when he takes a drink, can be violent to females.”

Stokoe, of Belstone Court, Silksworth, Sunderland, was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and registration as a sex offender, both indefinitely.