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Rapist Robbie Thurston returns to prison for beating up woman with learning disabilities

PUBLISHED: 17:23 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:03 11 April 2017

Robbie Thurston, 53, of Mill Road, Buxhall, has been jailed for 40 months for grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Robbie Thurston, 53, of Mill Road, Buxhall, has been jailed for 40 months for grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

A rapist is back in jail for beating and imprisoning a woman with learning disabilities – restraining her with such force that her shoulder dislocated.

Robbie Thurston, 53 of Buxhall, near Stowmarket, has a record of 163 crimes since 1982, including nine years locked up for raping a woman near Ipswich in 1991.

Appearing at crown court via video link from prison, Thurston was given another 40 months behind bars and banned from approaching his latest victim.

He had been due to stand trial, but admitted grievous bodily harm and false imprisonment last week, having previously denied the offences – as well as two charges of rape and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

The attack happened at property in Woodbridge on November 24.

Thurston hit his victim on the shoulders and hands, twisted her arm, dragged her to the ground and pushed her, causing her head to hit the kitchen sink.

Prosecutor Andrew Thompson said Thurston also took the woman’s house keys and mobile phone refusing to let her leave.

“The defendant put his arms round her neck,” he added. “She was taken to a spare bedroom and held down on a bed for what she described as hours, or all night.”

The victim told police the next day and revealed her injuries to a doctor. She had broken fingers, bruising to the upper body, arms and throat, swelling to the head and a dislocated shoulder.

Thurston was arrested and offered no comment to allegations. During a second interview, where he appeared without a solicitor, Thurston denied the allegations, claiming his victim had “fallen heavily” on her arm.

Defending Thurston, Matthew McNiff said: “He is sorry for what happened. He knows he behaved in a very bad way. He has not tried to hide things from those who have come to represent him. He knows he will be punished.”

Judge John Devaux sentenced Thurston to 50 months in jail reduced to 40 months for his guilty plea and a restraining order.

Det Con Donna Hopper, officer in the case, said: “Thurston is a dangerous individual and we are pleased he is now off the streets and will be in prison for some time. It means his victim can work on rebuilding her life after what has been a traumatic time.

“She is receiving support from partnership agencies and we would particularly like to thank her sister, who provided support to her and the investigation.”

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