Armed sex beast jailed for repeated rape of Runcorn woman

Runcorn and Widnes World: Thomas Russell Thomas Russell

A SEX beast who burst into the bedroom of a Runcorn woman and raped her repeatedly at knifepoint was today, Wednesday, sentenced at Warrington Crown Court to 14 years and six months behind bars.

Brandishing a bread knife, hooded teenager Thomas Russell subjected the 55-year-old victim to a terrifying ordeal, punching her in the face and squeezing her neck as she screamed for mercy.

He threatened to hold her hostage for three days.

Sentencing him, Judge Trevor Jones said: “I can hardly imagine a more frightening ordeal for a woman than to wake up and find a stranger doing what you did.

“She was asleep in her own bed, in her own home where she had every right to think she was secure.

“You were armed with a potentially deadly weapon.

“Brandishing a bread knife, you continued as she desperately tried to defend herself. You proceeded to choke her and subject her to sexual indignities.

“You are a dangerous man.”

The victim described in a statement how she had been left traumatised by the attack. She said she felt very nervous, her relationships and confidence have suffered and she is having counselling.

Russell, now aged 20, of Hillside Avenue, Runcorn, admitted three counts of rape, threatening to kill and possessing a knife.

He was jailed for 10 years and six months and given an extended licence of four years. He will be on the sex offender’s register for life.

The terrorising ordeal happened on Friday, September 27, last year.

The victim, now aged 56, returned to her home at 9.30pm and went to bed because she felt tired. She left the back door open for her son.

Lewis-Jones Meirion, prosecuting, said: “At 3am she heard a sound. A figure was in the room wearing a hooded top. She recognised him straightaway as a friend of one of her sons.

“He was holding a large bread knife and said: ‘I’m here to rape you.’”

Russell had coaxed her Staffordshire Bull Terrier which had been sleeping on her bed out of the room.

A violent struggle ensued as she desperately tried to protect herself.

Mr Meirion said: ”She tried to grab the knife, she held the blade and ended up on the floor. She was screaming, there was a struggle. During the struggle, the defendant cut his wrist but gained control.

“He punched the victim in the face. He squeezed her throat and told her to stop screaming. She was pleading with him not to hurt her.

“He said he wouldn’t hurt her if she let go of the knife. She did. He started making sexual demands.”

Russell made various sexual gestures and raped her forcefully three times, causing a great deal of pain.

Her son, who was asleep on a sofa downstairs was woken by noises. He called upstairs to ask his mum if she was alright and rang the police.

He ran upstairs and his mum warned him to get out because Russell had a knife.

She wrapped herself in a duvet and ran downstairs in her bare feet, and out into the street to neighbours who looked after her.

The police came at 3.45am and Russell was arrested at his home at 4am.

His mother said he had come home without his shoes and trousers, saying he had been mugged.

David Rose, defending, said Russell, who has no previous convictions, was remorseful and had admitted the offences at a hearing in Chester Crown Court on January 3.

Mr Rose said: “He entered guilty pleas with his head hung very low, struggling to hold back tears.

“It is very very difficult for him to accept what he has done. He knows he will spend a lot of time in prison.”

 

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