A young man who broke into a woman’s home and raped her after demanding money for cocaine has been jailed.
Corey Hughes, 20, will spend the next six-and-a-half years in prison after he hid in the darkness of a woman’s home armed with a knuckleduster before carrying out the terrifying attack.
Less than a month later, while on bail for the offence, he returned to the victim’s home demanding her to drop the charges, putting his arm around her neck and telling her if she screamed ‘I will kill you’.
Hughes appeared in court on Friday, December 6, to be sentenced for the counts of rape and affray after pleading guilty to both charges.
Prosecuting barrister Richard Woolfall told the court the victim had returned from work on March 29 earlier this year, at around 11.15pm where her home was in “darkness”.
Mr Woolfall said: “She entered, locking the front door thinking she was the only person in the property. She heard a noise in the kitchen and at that point she knew he was in the house.”
His victim tried to run out of her house but was grabbed and pulled back by Hughes.
Mr Woolfall continued: “He had one hand across her chest and one hand over her mouth. He then threw her on the settee and it was then she knew he had a friend with him who came out from the kitchen.”
Hughes also brought with him a knuckleduster and demanded that his victim give him money for cocaine.
“He raised his voice and it scared her,” said Mr Woolfall. “She went on her phone and was able to get an overdraft and transfer money across to him.”
Hughes sent his friend to collect the money. When he returned, he was asked to step outside with Hughes saying: “I want to show her dominance one last time.”
Hughes then proceeded to rape his victim, using his bodyweight to pin her down and slapping her across the head when she resisted.
Mr Woolfall said: “While this was going on he demanded she look at him.”
After raping his victim, Hughes told her if she attempted to call the police he would come after her and then left the property.
But bravely, she called the police and Hughes was arrested a short distance away from the victim’s home.
When he was interviewed, he told officers that he did not take a knuckleduster with him and he and the victim had consensual sex. Hughes was then released on bail.
On April 22, the victim was woken up at her home by “a banging noise”.
Mr Woolfall said: “Turns out he [Hughes] smashed the glass in the door with a brick. She heard a noise of him on the stairs. He entered the bedroom shutting the door behind him.
“She was in tears. She couldn’t get out. He aggressively asked if she was going to call the police. He appeared to be on drugs.
“She was shouting at him to get out. He had his arm around her neck and squeezed her. She had to tap him a few times to get him to let go.
“He pushed her onto the bed and told her to drop the charges.”
Hughes told his victim if she screamed he would kill her and then demanded money. When she told him she did not have any he left.
Watch: UK crime sentencing guidelines
In a statement, Mr Woolfall told the court the victim was “a strong woman” who was “not going to let her life be defined by this incident”.
He said: “She was living in fear wondering what was going to happen next. She was scared to live in her own home and petrified.
“She has moved on as best she can. She is not saying she is suffering still. She is looking to draw a line under it.
“She is not going to let her life be defined by this incident or what he did. She is a strong woman who is getting on with it and is fortunate to have the support of her family.”
Hughes pleaded guilty to the charges of rape and affray. He had no previous convictions to his record.
At the time of the offence Hughes was 19, which defence barrister Nigel Clive asked his honour Judge Paul Watson QC to take into consideration when passing sentence.
He also added his client was remorseful for what he had done and was tearful when speaking of the victim.
Watch: How are offenders sentenced?
“This defendant has done, it’s fair to say, some considerable self-reflection whilst being on remand,” said Mr Clive.
“He understands there is not much to say for offences such as this. He was very tearful when he spoke of the complainant.
“He offers his apologies. He understands they may be cold comfort as far as words are concerned but he has reflected his remorse in a letter.
“This defendant is looking to turn his life around and put himself back on track. The defendant has no previous convictions and of course it is unusual for how a young man can be sentenced for an offence as serious as this.
“He says he has learnt his lesson as far as drugs are concerned and it is not a mistake he will repeat again.”
Sentencing Hughes to six-and-a-half years in prison, Judge Paul Watson QC said he was “astonished a young man with clear potential” was brought before the court for such a serious offence.
He said: “It is some ways astonishing that a young man like you, 20-years-of-age with no previous convictions, never been in trouble with police for anything. A young man with clear potential.
“A young man who was leaning to make something of a way in life, side-tracked by the use of drugs and come before me for what in the plainest terms was a despicable and brutal rape.”
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