Widower emotionally blackmailed woman into relationship where he strangled and raped her

A widower wickedly used his status as a single dad to trap a woman in an abusive relationship in which he threatened to kill her and repeatedly raped her.

Paul Thomas, 49 was so violent with his victim that he left her unconscious in her south-east London home.

Thomas, from Sidcup, Kent preyed upon his victim’s good nature, and emotionally blackmailed him by using his bereavement against them when they first met.

Croydon Crown Court heard that Thomas became violent and began to throw her down the stairs. He also pulled her hair and punched her in the stomach.

When the victim confided in officers that her partner had assaulted her and she had had an affair, police were first alerted of Thomas in 2018.

Police were first alerted about Thomas back in 2018 (stock image)
Police were first alerted about Thomas back in 2018 (stock image)

But she didn’t want to file a report out of fear of what would happen to his children, the court heard.

According to reports, the victim was so afraid of Thomas that she began to secretly record him. He tried to get her to argue with his wife and accused her being unfaithful.

He confessed to his anger, and he also admitted to previously attacking her. She said it was his fault.

She captured his brutal injuries and even recorded him trying to stop her car from leaving.

The victim claimed that he was going to track her movements via her phone and would stalk her. He threatened her family with violence if she didn’t stay.

Thomas made his way to Penge in 2019, and tortured his victim for two days between November 7th and November 9.

Thomas attended Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday
Thomas attended Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday

He sexually assaulted her, threatened to kill her and strangled her until she lost consciousness – before she eventually found the strength to grab her phone and call 999.

Thomas was taken into custody as he was leaving the victim’s house and was later charged with several offences.

Detective Constable Nichola Buckley, the investigating officer, said: “Thomas allowed the victim to believe she was living in a happy relationship until he increasingly coerced her into an ever more submissive role.

“He went on to abuse her mentally, physically and controlled her through fear. She submitted to him in bed – this is not consent – she was not free to say no.

“I want to praise the victim for the courage and strength she showed to fully assist the police in obtaining this conviction and ensuring this dangerous man has now been put behind bars.”

DC Buckley added: “Thomas is a highly dangerous individual who had been quite rightly jailed for a significant period of time.

The victim called 999 after she was held captive for two days
The victim called 999 after she was held captive for two days

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“He subjected the victim to significant violence and has shown no remorse for his actions.

“The Met continues to make it a priority to prevent domestic abuse and sexual assault and to put offenders behind bars.

“I encourage anyone who has been a victim to contact police. We have specially trained officers who will give advice and take all allegations seriously. You will be supported.”

After an 11-day trial, Thomas was convicted of eight counts each of rape and two counts each of assault by penetration.

On Wednesday he was sentenced to a total of 19 years’ imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court.

He was also subject to Notification requirements for life and was issued a Restraining Order.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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