Brandon rape victim tells of her terror

ON the day after appeal court judges slashed the life sentence of Brandon rapist Robert English, his victim has spoken for the first time about the attack.

ON the day after appeal court judges slashed the life sentence of Brandon rapist Robert English, his victim has spoken for the first time about the attack.

Yesterday 59-year-old English was told he would be allowed to apply for parole after serving five years and four months in prison instead of seven-and-a-half years.

His victim, Jane (not her real name) had been shopping at a Tesco store in Brandon, in June 2008 when she was approached by English, who asked for her help to lift a large sports bag into his car, claiming to have a bad back.

She recalls: “When he moved he limped and looked so frail and clearly in pain I felt sorry for him. But as I lifted the bag into the boot he suddenly lunged forward and said 'Get in or I'll kill you.'

“I saw the kitchen knife glinting in his hand and desperately looked round for help but there was nobody else in the car park.

“He bundled me into the boot, ordering me not to scream. He was strong and I felt sick as I realised the feeble pensioner act had been a calculated move to trick me.

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“I asked him why he was doing it but he just told me to shut up and started to tie my wrists and ankles with rope from the floor of the car. Then he bound my neck and threw a sleeping bag over me.”

English drove her to a caravan in a field in Hockwold, Norfolk, to rape her.

“I was crying as I asked him again what he wanted,” she said. “He said he wanted to make love to me. Sickness flooded over me and I asked 'What if I don't let you?', but he said 'Then I will kill you'. Then he turned me towards the little window and pointed outside. There was a muddy hole in the ground about six feet wide and three feet deep, and he said 'That's your grave if you don't do what I say'.”

English then raped her without a condom and forced her to perform lewd acts.

“I sobbed loudly,” she said. “He suddenly asked 'Why are you crying?'. I screamed back in disgust 'Why do you think?', and for a second he looked shocked. Then he said: 'I've got a wife.'

“I must have seen something in a film or read something in a book, but I knew I had to keep him talking if I was ever going to get out of this. I asked him what his wife was like, and the question made him lift himself off me. He had already raped me twice.

“He said 'I love her very much.' It was too sick, I didn't think a man capable of such horror and violence could know what love meant but I knew I had to keep him talking. As calmly as I could manage I said 'I need to be back with my family now.'”

English ordered her to put her clothes on, forced her into the boot and dropped her on an industrial estate.

She took her heels off and ran towards her boyfriend's parents' house where they called the police, who took her to a safe house for examination, swabs and to give her the morning after pill.

Her evidence after the attack enabled the police to track down her rapist, a married father-of-two, from Fiddlewood Road, Norwich, who later pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration and two counts of rape at Ipswich Crown Court.

The terrifying assault has understandably left Jane deeply scarred.

She said: “That vile rapist had tainted me for ever. I couldn't bear to look at myself. I was too frightened even to sleep. All night I cried and screamed as it played over and over in my mind. Every-time I shut my eyes I saw his face so, distraught, I tried to keep them open.”