A WOMAN raped in a “brutish” attack feared being physically assaulted by her assailant if she resisted during the ordeal, a court was told.

Lee Dodds carried out the violent attack after drinking heavily and taking class A drugs, punching her and forcing the defenceless victim against a couch.

Durham Crown Court heard the woman was sobbing during the attack and it must have been clear to Dodds that she was not consenting.

But when asked about the attack by police, Dodds claimed he only ever had consensual sex.

The defendant, 49, of Front Street East, Haswell, denied rape, but was found guilty on a unanimous guilty verdict by the jury following a two-day trial at the court, on September 22.

He was also convicted of two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, for attacks on the woman using a curtain pole and a head-butt.

Following last month’s trial, Judge James Adkin adjourned for a probation report on Dodds, who was remanded in custody.

He appeared for the sentencing hearing by video link from nearby Durham Prison.

The court heard he has 11 previous convictions for 33 offences, six for violence.

But his counsel, Rupert Doswell, said there were no similar sexual convictions on his record.

Mr Doswell said Dodds had always worked until shortly before his re-trial when he “spiralled into depression” due to the looming case.

Judge James Adkin described the attack as, “a brutish, degrading violation” of a woman, who was “vulnerable” at the time.

He imposed a ten-year sentence on Dodds, who must serve two-thirds of the jail term before being eligible for release on licence.

Dodds must also register as a sex offender for life, while a restraining order forbids him contacting the victim.