THE victim of a vicious rape attack feared she was going to die during the ordeal, a court heard.

A harrowing account of the incident and the severe effect it has had on the victim was read to Durham Crown Court during the sentencing hearing for the perpetrator, Tony Daggett.

He was jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being convicted of rape on a unanimous jury verdict, following 20-minutes’ deliberation, on the fourth day of his trial at the court, on July 29.

Daggett, 37, of Maplewood Street, Fencehouses, denied the charge, and despite his conviction, is said to still be in denial.

Richard Bennett, prosecution, said at one point during the attack as she was pinned to the floor by Daggett, she urged to him to stop, but he shouted to her: “You dirty little bitch” and carried on.

He then covered her face with his hand and told her in a calm voice that no-one was coming to help her, but when she bit his hand it only made him angrier.

Mr Bennett said when the attack ended she got up and ran from the house in her stocking feet, despite it being a cold early morning on December 28, 2016.

She ran and knocked at the door of the nearby house seeking help from a stranger, who took her in and reported the attack to police.

Mr Bennett said the victim’s medical examination confirmed she suffered internal injury during the incident.

Upon arrest, Daggett claimed it they had consensual sex and when asked to stop, he did so.

In her victim statement she said she “truly believed” she was going to be killed, and it has, “changed my whole life”.

She said her physical injuries were painful, but were quickest to heal, as the attack left lasting psychological damage, culminating in a breakdown and left her with suicidal thoughts.

It also affected her work status and, therefore her income.

But she added that it was only following the defendant’s recent conviction that she has felt more at ease, thanking family, friends and the Rape Crisis agency for their support in helping her get through the whole ordeal of the aftermath of the attack.

Jane Foley, mitigating, said there was little she could say on behalf of the defendant, except to outline his previous good character. She presented eight character testimonials to the court, which she said highlighted his attributes and pointed to the fact he is well thought of by friends and family.

Jailing Daggett, Judge Christopher Prince said “a striking feature” of the case was the level of fear he instilled on his victim, due to the level of aggression he showed, causing her “severe” psychological damage.

The judge made Daggett subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender and a restraining order prohibiting him from ever contacting the victim.