A rapist who forced his way into the home of a woman he walked home in the late 80s before subjecting her to a brutal attack has been jailed.

Keith Sinclair, 59, was in his early twenties when he raped and indecently assaulted the 17-year-old woman he walked home after a night of drinking.

He forced his way into her home and subjected her to a brutal and ‘painful’ rape.

Sinclair, of Phalp Street, South Hetton, County Durham, denied three charges against him, but was found guilty after a trial of two counts of rape and one of indecent assault which all took place over a single night.

After the incident he made threats against his victim and her young child in a bid to stop her from going to the police, Durham Crown Court heard on Friday (December 8) lunchtime.

The Northern Echo: Keith Sinclair.Keith Sinclair. (Image: DURHAM POLICE)

He will spend the next 13 years behind bars.

In a victim impact statement, his victim said: “For 32 years I have had to suffer in silence.

“These have been two of the most difficult years of my life having to bring this incident back to the forefront of my mind. I have really struggled with this process and found it more difficult than I thought I would.

“I feel like I have become a shell of my former self. I find myself remaining in the house more and more often and very rarely leave.

“He has never shown any remorse for what he did to me.”

The court heard she was left traumatised by the attack in which he put his elbow on her neck. Judge James Adkin described the impact on her as “very extreme”.

The historic charge marked the start of Sinclair’s sexual offending.

In 1996 he attempted to rape a woman he met in a pub after driving her to an industrial estate.

And in 2010 he was jailed for raping a woman while she slept. He was previously convicted of both heinous crimes.

Prosecutor Robin Turton said: “There seems to be a pattern of behaviour [where] he targets vulnerable women who are drunk.”

His other crimes were not seen as previous convictions as they were committed after this offence.

In mitigation, Caroline McGurk, told the court Sinclair had completed a sexual offenders’ treatment programme prior to his release from jail in 2017, and that difference between diary entries he made before and at the end of his treatment ‘were so stark that it was as if he was reading about two people’.

“The realisation of how much he had changed reduced him to tears,” she added.

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“Keith Sinclair does not pose a significant risk to members of the public.”

Sinclair had been working full-time as a vehicle welder prior to his conviction.

Handing him a 13-year prison sentence the judge told him he will need to serve at least two-thirds of the term before he can be released.