A CHANTRY man awaiting sentence for attacking a woman in her home had raped an 89-year-old during a burglary 20 years ago.

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More details emerged today about the grim past of Hilland Matthews, of Swallow Road, Ipswich.

The 66-year-old pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court last month to attacking a woman on the Chantry estate in June 2011.

Matthews admitted sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration, and one of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Although it was known he had previous convictions in Wales, the full circumstances had been unclear.

Now, it has emerged Matthews was jailed for six years by Cardiff Crown Court in October 1992, for attacking an elderly widow in her home.

At the time Matthews lived in Abertridwr, Caerphilly, South Glamorgan, and worked as a window cleaner.

He was sentenced to imprisonment after pleading guilty to rape and to entering the 89-year-old’s house with intent to steal.

At the sentencing prosecutor Patrick Harrington said Matthews broke into his victim’s house in the early hours of March 26, 1992, before ransacking it.

He then discovered the pensioner asleep in her bed, before raping her twice.

Mr Harrington said: “She told him to leave her alone, but he put his hand over her mouth to stifle her cries.

“Understandbly she was terrified and told him that if he didn’t take his hand from her mouth she would die.”

When Matthews left the woman telephoned her son and police were called.

On arrival at her home officers found her in shock and deeply upset.

Matthews’ fingerprints, and the footprints from his trainers, were found at the scene

He was arrested at noon on the same day.

The court also heard Matthews had earlier convictions for indecently assaulting a 17-year-old girl and attempting to rape a 17-year-old female. These were believed to be in the late 1980s.

The judge was told that Matthews had raped the elderly woman on the spur of the moment, and that he wished to apologise to his victim.

His six-year sentence was met with anger by the community where he lived and carried out the attack.

Residents started a petition to have his sentence reviewed as they felt it was too lenient.

It is not known whether they were successful, although the Crown Prosecution Service said it was reviewing the matter.

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