14-years’ jail for Leeds rapist who taunted his terrified victim

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A JUDGE jailed rapist Mark Wilkinson for 14 years after describing his horrifying sex attacks in Leeds as “every woman’s nightmare.”

Leeds Crown Court heard Mark Wilkinson’s victim feared for her life as he taunted her during her ordeal.

Prosecutor, Andrew Haslam, said 28-year-old Wilkinson, (pictured) who was riding a bicycle, approached the woman in Hunslet just after 10.30pm on Saturday June 13.

Wilkinson, of East Grange Close, Belle Isle, asked the woman where she was going and if he could walk her home.

The woman, aged in her fifties, told Wilkinson where she was going, but told him she didn’t want to be walked home.

Mr Haslam said Wilkinson’s arm was bandaged and bleeding because earlier that night he had assaulted his girlfriend and punched a mirror.

The court heard Wilkinson cycled on ahead and lay in wait for the woman.

He approached her from behind, grabbed hold of her hair before dragging her to a disused railway track where he twice raped her.

Mr Haslam said Wilkinson’s girlfriend Rachel Hobson saw a West Yorkshire Police Facebook appeal after he attack and thought the description matched Wilkinson.

Rachel Hobson called her sister-in-law Kirsty Barraclough, who had also seen the police appeal on Facebook.

Mrs Barraclough called police on June 15 and Wilkinson was arrested that night.

Wilkinson, who admitted two charges of rape, has 26 previous convictions for 43 offences including burglary, theft, handling stolen goods and possessing drugs.

He was jailed for three years in July 2013 and was out of prison on licence when he carried out the rapes on June 13.

Mitigating, Catherine Silverton said: “He is so disgusted with himself for what he has done.”

Recorder Tom Little handed Wilkinson a 14-year prison sentence with a four-year extended licence period.

He will be in prison for at least two thirds of the 14-year sentence and will only be released when the parole board deem it is safe to do so.

Recorder Little told him: “You offered to walk her home and she refused. You knew from what she did tell you the route she would be taking...You cycled ahead and lay in wait for her.

“You grabbed hold of her by the hair and dragged her to a nearby railway track. Whilst you raped her you taunted her.

“You then told her you were going to do it again. She had no strength to get up and you dragged her along the ground.”

Recorder Little added: “The victim telephoned police and they attended. They found her struggling for breath. Her upper clothing was bloodstained with your blood from the earlier incident with your partner.

“There was here a significant degree of planning. You estimated the route she would take, you cycled ahead, you left the bike out to gain her attention and having lain in wait attacked her from behind.”

The devastating impact rapist Mark Wilkinson’s crimes have had on his victim was revealed in court.

Prosecutor Andrew Haslam read the woman’s victim personal statement during the sentencing yesterday.

Addressing Wilkinson, the woman wrote: “Your actions on that night have impacted on my whole life.

“I thought I was going to be killed. The fear I felt was indescribable.

“It took you, a total stranger to make me feel destroyed mentally, physically and emotionally.

“I no longer recognise myself. You have taken my identity.”

She added: “I feel as though I have stopped living my life and I just exist.

“Every male I see I think could be a rapist. I feel like I am grieving. I have lost myself and the person I used to be.

“I have been in a very dark place. It doesn’t matter what I do, say or where I go, you are always there.

“You have me in a headlock like you did that night.”

Det Chf Insp Jim Dunkerley, of West Yorkshire Police, said after the court hearing: “Wilkinson deliberately targeted the victim and put her through an absolutely terrifying ordeal. He is clearly a very dangerous individual who presents a significant threat to women and that is reflected in the lengthy sentence he has received.”

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