A RAPIST has been jailed for six years after he attacked a woman in her own home.

Jeffrey Haswell attacked the woman while she was in bed and sent her a picture of himself pretending to hang himself to get her to drop the charges.

The 48-year-old was found guilty of rape following a trial at Teesside Crown Court earlier this year.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said the rape took place towards the end of last year.

"She told him no numerous times but he refused to take no for an answer," he said.

The defendant that pulled her clothing off and raped her before ejaculating and getting off her.

The Northern Echo: Jeffrey HaswellJeffrey Haswell

Following the attack, Mr Turton said: "He (Haswell) sent her 300 messages over a two hour period and your honour will have seen videos of him trying to hang himself with a rope in an attempt to emotionally blackmail the victim."

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the rape had left her feeling 'constantly stressed and suffering from extreme anxiety' and had been forced to move home as a result of the attack.

She said she now feels 'very anxious around men' which has caused her problems at work.

Haswell, of Southway, Peterlee, was also found guilty of harassing his victim after bombarding her with the troubling messages.

David Lamb, in mitigation, said his client had not committed any previous sexual or violent offences and urged the judge to pass a determinate prison sentence after he was found guilty.

He added the barrage of telephone calls, messages and videos sent to the victim were done at a time when his client was 'sad and lonely'.

"Almost a year has passed now without repetition during which time Mr Haswell has had the opportunity to reflect upon his actions," he said.

Recorder Andrew Haslam QC sentenced Haswell to six years in custody.

He said: "She told you she was not interested in sexual intercourse and told you to leave her alone. She told you repeatedly no to your sexual advances but you were able, due to your greater size, to get on top of her and rape her."

The judge added 'you sent 300 messages to her and then you commenced a series of screenshots on your phone showing you had attempted to kill yourself'. He added: "That was designed to make her feel guilty."

Haswell was ordered to go on the sex offenders register for life.

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