'Violent and abusive' Ipswich rapist jailed for 15 years

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Samuel James has been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of raping a woman. - Credit: Archant

A “violent and abusive” Ipswich man accused of using sex as a weapon has been jailed for 15 years for repeatedly raping a woman.

Sentencing 31-year-old Samuel James on Friday ( January 7) Judge Emma Peters described the victim as “vulnerable” and said her mental health problems had been made worse by what he’d done to her.

“You have caused her severe psychological harm,” said the judge.

James, of Fuchsia Lane, Ipswich, had denied five offences of rape and two offences of assault and following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in September he was convicted of three of the rape offences.

He was cleared of the remaining two offences of rape and the offences of assault.

In addition to being jailed James was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for life and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the same period.

He will have to serve two-thirds of his prison sentence.

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In an impact statement, the victim accused James of  irreparably damaging her and described him as a “danger to all women he comes into contact with.”

She said that before the offences she had been confident and outgoing but now lacked confidence and found it difficult to have intimate relationships.

She said she was no longer able to work and had undergone therapy.

During the trial it was alleged that James used sex “as a weapon” and felt entitled to have sex with the woman regardless of what she wanted.

On one occasion James, who was described as “violent and abusive”, had allegedly struck the woman during sex and had put his hands round her throat, said Brian Reece, prosecuting.

The victim had said she had been raped on “50 to 100” occasions by James.

He said that after the woman contacted the police James had denied the allegations and accused her of having mental health issues.

Giving evidence during the trial he described the allegations as “vile and disgusting” and said he’d never had sex with anyone without their consent.

Joanne Eley for James said her client had changed for the better and drink and drugs were no longer part of his life.

She said James had no previous convictions for sexual offences and she presented the court with a number of references from his family and friends.

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