Weston-super-Mare man lured woman to his house with party lie before raping her

PUBLISHED: 08:01 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:19 24 November 2017

Rapist Tom Ford was jailed for six years on Friday.

Rapist Tom Ford was jailed for six years on Friday.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A Weston rapist will be freed from jail in three years despite pinning a woman down, forcing her to have sex with him and throttling her until she almost passed out.

Ford was jailed for six years at Bristol Crown Court.Ford was jailed for six years at Bristol Crown Court.

Tom Ford met his victim at a town nightclub and lied that there was a party at his house so she would go back with him.

There he violently raped her, leaving her with more than a dozen injuries.

His victim, whose identity has been protected by the courts, has since tried to take her own life.

She said: “It’s had a massive impact on my life. Before I was raped, I was out socialising, but often now I don’t want to leave my house for days at a time. I don’t feel safe.

“I now feel empty and never clean as I can’t wash rape away.

“I feel humiliated and I haven’t been able to tell my friends or family. I don’t have a good relationship with my siblings (now) as they think I have gone off the rails as they don’t know what happened.

“I have daily night terrors – I sleep with all the lights on.

“Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the rape.”

The woman suffered 19 bruises to her neck and breasts.

She said: “The bruises have healed but the pain caused will never go away.”

Bristol Crown Court was told the pair met at The Loft on April 15.

She was drunk and in a ‘vulnerable’ state when Ford raped her.

Recorder, Mr Michael Vere-Hodge, addressing Ford on November 17, said: “This wasn’t a case of two young people having had a lot of drink mistaking the signals between them. You were holding her down by the throat and using a level of violence.

“The suggestion she was happy for rough sex was disbelieved by the jury and it was not true. It was an excuse.”

Ford, who played cricket for Weston, was found guilty of one count of rape by a jury on October 27.

His victim said: “Going through the police investigation and trial, I feel I’ve been raped all over again. I’ve lost so much since being raped.”

MORE: In The Dock.

Ford’s lack of remorse and egotistical behaviour in the dock was slammed by the judge.

Mr Vere-Hodge said: “You have a high self-regard and in my opinion an overinflated sense of self-importance. During the trial you were smiling and displayed exaggerated disbelief at the jury’s verdict. There’s a sense of arrogance about you.”

Mr Vere-Hodge handed Ford a six-year prison sentence. He is expected to serve half of it.

The judge said: “I hope she (the victim) will be able to put this behind her. That’s my hope and it may be a forlorn hope. It may take a number of years.”

Tabitha Macfarlane, defending, said Ford was of previous good character.

She asked for Ford to be shown ‘mercy’ with his sentence as he would likely be a ‘vulnerable’ prisoner due to his age and rape conviction.

Ms Macfarlane said a prison sentence will have a ‘seismic’ impact on Ford and being a registered sex offender for life will mean he has difficulty travelling or living abroad.

Testimonies of the 23-year-old’s character were provided by his family and friends. His girlfriend said he was a ‘gentle, kind and honest young man’.

DC Richard Grierson said: “Ford encouraged his victim to go back to his house by pretending there was a party, but this was a lie. He used a degree of violence during this rape, leaving his victim traumatised.

“I’m pleased we were able to identify him so he could face the consequences for this horrific offence. I hope this case encourages other victims to have confidence in the police to report sexual offences, knowing they will be believed.

“We’ll always work hard to achieve justice for them.”

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