A former soldier from Lowestoft who beat a woman “black and blue”, raped her and left her needing specialist treatment for cuts to her hands has been jailed for eight years.

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Police were alerted by a member of the public at about 9am on May 13 after the victim managed to flee from a house in Lowestoft to raise the alarm.

She had suffered serious injuries after being grabbed by the hair, dragged to the floor and repeatedly punched to the head and face and stamped on by 43-year-old Gareth Griffiths, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

During the incident Griffiths held a knife to her neck and face, causing a cut to her nose and a puncture wound to her cheek and she suffered defensive wounds to her hands and arms. She needed 34 stitches for her injuries.

During her ordeal the woman was raped and sexually assaulted by Griffiths.

Griffiths, of Dell Road, Lowestoft, had denied rape, sexual assault and unlawful wounding but was found guilty by a jury.

Jailing him for eight years and ordering him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, Judge John Devaux said the injuries suffered by the woman were very serious and would have long-term effects.

During his five-day trial Griffiths was described by the victim as having a look of “hate and evil” on his face and she said she had feared he was going to kill her.

She described how Griffiths had grabbed her by the hair and held a knife to her throat. She said Griffiths told her “very calmly” he was going to kill her and in addition to holding the knife to her throat he had kicked and punched her leaving her “black and blue”.

The woman told the court Griffiths had locked her in the house where the attack took place and she had been forced to climb out of a window to get help.

Griffiths claimed the woman had lunged at him with the knife and he had punched her in a bid to disarm her. He claimed he had been acting in self defence and told the court he had consensual sex with the woman.

Warwick Aleeson, for Griffiths, said his client had served in the Army in the fist Gulf War and in Northern Ireland. Apart from two convictions for drink driving he had no other previous convictions before the offences before the court.

He said Griffiths had been registered disabled since 2007 due to a back problem.

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