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Man jailed for 'horrifying' campaign of violence

PUBLISHED: 11:55 02 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:55 25 August 2010

A SADISTIC thug who repeatedly raped and beat a woman was jailed for 14 years last Friday (26). Tree surgeon Robert Smith, 38, Queens Road, Welling, subjected his victim to a horrifying campaign of sexual violence and intimidation, leaving her terrified

A SADISTIC thug who repeatedly raped and beat a woman was jailed for 14 years last Friday (June 26).

Tree surgeon Robert Smith, 38, Queens Road, Welling, subjected his victim to a horrifying campaign of sexual violence and intimidation, leaving her 'terrified into total submission'.

His 'appalling' catalogue of violence included hitting her with a baseball bat, forcing her head into a gas oven and repeatedly burning her with red hot spoons.

Smith, a heavy user of cocaine, was eventually caught when his victim, an accounts manager in a publishing firm, bravely called police from a local shop following a vicious beating.

He was found guilty of four counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, five counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of harassment at Woolwich Crown Court.

Smith was jailed for 14 years and was placed on the sexual offenders' register for life.

Judge Marks Moore said: "You have been convicted of an appalling series of acts.

"I consider the aggravating elements are particularly the duration of the offences, the fact that you used violence, that you had terrified her into total submission, and that it had profound consequences for her."

As Smith was led to the cells, he told the judge: "Thank you, your honour."

The victim, who was in her 20s at the time, met Smith towards the end of 2002.

But over the following six years, he repeatedly beat her up, raped and sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall said: "Smith's violence very soon became commonplace, and with an escalation of violence came a vice-like control of her life.

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