Dereham man used knife to terrify rape victim

A 33-year-old man who dragged a woman into his flat and held a knife to her throat before raping her will spend at least five years in prison.

Daniel Cain, of Beech Court, Dereham, was yesterday deemed a 'significant risk to the public' by a judge who then issued an indeterminate sentence.

The defendant was found guilty of rape and false imprisonment last month following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Yesterday, recalling the facts of the case, Judge Simon Barham said the victim had visited Cain's flat with her friend on the evening.

At 1am, the two women decided to leave and headed out of the door.

'You grabbed the victim by the arm and pulled her back into your flat. You locked the door and held your victim to the floor with a knife on her neck,' he said.

The terrified woman attempted to placate her attacker, telling him things she thought he wanted to hear, and allowed Cain to lead her into his bedroom where the rape took place.

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During the trial, the defendant had denied using a knife but, ahead of his sentencing, conceded.

Ian James, defending, told the court: 'He has had a change of heart so far as the possession of the weapon is concerned. He accepts he did avail himself with a weapon which was used to frighten only - although the fear engendered must have been considerable.'

But the solicitor said, when it came to the rape, his client had said the victim had initiated sexual contact and believed she was consenting.

Mr James said: 'He knows now that that belief wasn't a reasonable one ‑ he must face the music for it.'

Judge Barham rejected that argument and said he was convinced the only reason she had not resisted was because she was frightened.

He added: 'She clearly submitted through fear. Two hours later she managed to escape while you were asleep. She rang her sister and police and it was clear she was still terrified by you.'

More than four months after the attack - which happened in July this year - the judge said Cain's victim remained petrified, had trouble sleeping and could not go anywhere unaccompanied.

The court heard the defendant had 24 previous convictions including attempted robbery when he used an imitation gun.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said: 'He is a man not un-used to violence.' Judge Barham said he believed it was necessary to make a 'sentence of public protection', meaning he would set a minimum prison term.

Cain will serve at least five years - minus the 92 days he has already spent in custody - but would remain in custody until it was decided he was safe to release.

Cain will also be placed on the sex offenders' register for life.