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29 September 2011, 13:40 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
A Salford man's been jailed for 10 years for raping and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend.
31 year old Gareth Stephen Hutchinson of HMP Liverpool, was found guilty of rape, attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault by penetration, making threats to kill and causing actual bodily harm, following a four-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
He was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to spend 10 years in prison. He has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.
On 4 February 2011, Hutchinson and his girlfriend had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday and ended up staying the night on a friend’s couch at an address in Leigh.
Later the next day, Hutchinson left the house for a few hours and went to the pub. When he returned, he wrongly accused his girlfriend of sleeping with one of the lodgers in the house.
Hutchinson then subjected her to a vicious sexual assault and raped her. He then started to strangle his victim and put a pillow over her face.
At one point, he put a knife in his girlfriend’s mouth and said; 'I’ll give you three seconds to say you love me.'
Hutchinson attempted to rape his girlfriend again, but was disturbed by someone coming into the house. He threatened to 'stab everyone' if she told anyone what had happened.
The victim was forced to stay in the house again that night with Hutchinson, before he made off early the next morning. At this point, she told relatives what had happened and contacted the police.
On the evening of the first day of the trial, Hutchinson telephoned the victim from prison telling her that he would get twelve years in prison if she gave evidence. He told her that he loved her and hoped they could get on with their lives if he was released.
The victim bravely told police about this call and a recording was played to the court the following day.
In the victim’s impact statement to police, Gareth's former girlfriend said:
'Gareth was someone who I loved and trusted. I knew he had problems but I thought that being with me would be a fresh start for him.
'However, the man I loved raped me and sexually abused me in the most terrifying hours anyone could ever imagine.
'I have realised he is manipulative and he needs to get help. I want to encourage other victims of domestic abuse to come forward to the police, knowing that something can be done.'
Detective Constable Rob Kitchen from Wigan CID said:
'Hutchinson subjected his victim to an awful physical and sexual assault and while the physical injuries have cleared, the emotional scars will be with her for the rest of her life. Today, Hutchinson has rightfully been put behind bars for a long time for what he has done to her.
'The victim has been incredibly brave in coming forward to the police and has allowed the fact that she was Hutchinson’s girlfriend to be publicised so that it may give others who find themselves in similar situations the confidence to report it.
'We take all reports of rape seriously and investigate thoroughly and without prejudice. We have specially-trained officers to support you and we can not only help you, we can also put your attacker behind bars.'