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Dartford rapist James Reader jailed for sex attack on woman while holding her prisoner

By Paul Hooper

A drunken man who subjected a woman to a terrifying ordeal of sex and violence has been given a 16 year sentence.

James Reader, 24, of St Edmunds Roads, Dartford, punched holes in his victim’s door before holding her prisoner for four hours.

He then forced the frightened woman into performing humiliating sex acts before trying to strangle her with a T-shirt and USB cable.

James Reader has been jailed
James Reader has been jailed

Prosecutor Simon Taylor told Canterbury Crown Court that she managed to flee her home after he threatened to take her on a “ride of death”.

She was found cowering in nearby bushes by police officers.

Reader stole her car, but crashed it at a roundabout while trying to hunt his victim.

Now a judge has jailed him for 12 years and added another four years which he will have to serve on licence when he is released in 2023.

Judge Heather Norton ruled that Reader posed a danger to the public after subjecting his victim to a “terrifying ordeal of violence and degradation”.

Prosecutor Simon Taylor told how her nightmare began in June last year when Reader carried out “ a prolonged episode of raping, imprisoning and repeatedly assaulting before stealing and crashing her car”.

"He started to slap and punch her in the face and then took off his T-shirt and placed it around his victim’s neck and began to strangle her..." - Prosecutor Simon Taylor

He said that during the attack he grabbed his victim’s throat “and ran with her, pushing her backwards and onto a chair”.

The thug then turned up a stereo system to its maximum volume to drown out his brutal attack.

Mr Taylor continued: “At first he shadow boxed his victim before picking up a screwdriver and told her: ‘I’m going to put this in your ear and brain’ and then laughed and told her to sit on the sofa.

“He started to slap and punch her in the face and then took off his T-shirt and placed it around his victim’s neck and began to strangle her.

“Such was the force that she nearly passed out. But not content with that, he selected a USB cable and held it around her neck in order to strangle her.”

The petrified woman managed to get her fingers around the flex to prevent it being pulled tighter.

Mr Taylor said that she managed to break free and ran down a flight of stairs to escape, but was grabbed by Reader who snarled: “Why don’t I just rape you out here?”

After more sexual assaults, which resulted in the victim vomiting twice, Reader then grabbed a saw and threatened his victim before telling her she was going on a car journey “and she was going to die,” the prosecutor revealed.

Mr Taylor added: “Sometime after making this threat, the defendant left the complainant alone in the room allowing her an opportunity to escape the house.

“When she did she made a call to police, but while waiting she spotted Reader driving past in her car and she simply hid in the bushes.”

The prosecutor said Reader had taken the car keys and took the vehicle to search for her – but “because of the alcohol he had consumed was unable to drive it properly”.

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

Reader failed to negotiate a roundabout and crashed into the central reservation. He then just dumped the vehicle and staggered away.

Mr Taylor said he was arrested by police and told them: “I ain’t raped no one” before adding: “I stole the car. I went looking for her. I lost control.”

Judge Heather Norton heard how Reader had a violent past and was convicted in 2009 for headbutting and punching a woman.

In the same year, he broke into a house to carry out a burglary and threatened the householder with a computer keyboard.

Reader later admitted a variety of charges, including rape, making threats to kill, assault, false imprisonment, aggravated vehicle taking and driving dangerously, driving with excess alcohol and several other charges.

After the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Paul Fewtrell said: "Reader put his victim through a prolonged and appalling ordeal. He assaulted her physically, threatened to kill her and her loved ones, dragged her back from the brink of safety and then raped her more than once.

"It wasn't until she was able to hide that he eventually drove away, under the influence of alcohol, showing as little regard for public safety as he had for his victim's.

"Reader is a dangerous individual. He belongs behind bars, where women will be safe from him."

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