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Man convicted of raping and repeatedly hitting woman in face

A rapist who violently attacked a woman leaving her with several injuries to her face and body has been jailed.

Mark Taylor attacked the woman in December last year while the pair were socialising at his former home in Front Street, Shotton Colliery.

The 48-year-old dragged the woman to the floor, hit her repeatedly in the face and then raped her, in an attack lasting around 20 minutes.

The woman fled the house after Taylor fell asleep and contacted a family member who then called the police.

Officers attended the scene where they arrested Taylor, and an investigation was launched.

He was subsequently charged with rape, sexual assault, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Taylor denied rape and sexual assault, but pleaded guilty to assault after a jury was sworn in at the start of his trial at Durham Crown Court last month.

The four-day trial resulted in Taylor being convicted of all offences and he was remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing today (July 5), where he was jailed for eight years.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the woman described the effect the attack has had on her life.

“My life has changed from that day,” she said. “I permanently feel guilty and dirty – I feel like I can’t get clean.

“I’ve got scars on my body from trying my best to clean the painful memories away. Despite how much I try, I still feel dirty.

“I can’t eat or sleep properly – I’m having nightmares reliving what has happened to me. I just want these painful memories and feelings to go away. I want to be me again.”

Detective Constable Adam Abram, from Durham Constabulary, led the investigation.

“The courage and strength shown by the woman has been truly commendable – her support for our investigation has resulted in Taylor being put behind bars,” he said.

“While today’s sentencing will not take away the pain or the memories of what happened, I hope it will enable her to start to move forward.

“If you have been raped or suffered sexual assault, please tell us – you will be listened to, and we will believe you.

“We know it can be difficult, but we have specially trained officers who will support you every step of the way.”

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