Durham rapist sent victim picture of him faking suicide as blackmail

Rapist Jeffrey Haswell tried to coerce his victim to drop the sex offence charges against him (Picture: North News/NNP)

A rapist sent his victim pictures of him attempting suicide to coerce her into dropping the sex offence charge against him.

Jeffrey Haswell sent the woman hundreds of messages to try and emotionally blackmail her after the attack at the end of last year.

They included an image of the 48-year-old man pretending to hang himself.

Haswell was found guilty of rape following a trial at Teesside Crown Court earlier this year and has now been jailed for six years.

The court heard how the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told Haswell ‘no’ numerous times but he refused to take that for an answer.

Prosecutor Robin Turton, describing what happened after the attack, said: ‘He sent her 300 messages over a two-hour period.

‘Your honour will have seen videos of him trying to hang himself with a rope in an attempt to emotionally blackmail the victim.’

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the rape had left her feeling ‘constantly stressed and suffering from extreme anxiety’, and she had been forced to move home as a result of the attack.

She revealed she now feels ‘very anxious around men’ which has caused her
problems at work.

Haswell, of Southway, Peterlee, was also found guilty of harassing his victim after bombarding her with the troubling messages.

David Lamb, in mitigation, said his client had not committed any previous sexual or violent offences and urged the judge to pass a determinate prison sentence after he was found guilty.

He added the barrage of telephone calls, messages and videos sent to the victim were done at a time when his client was ‘sad and lonely’.

However, he said that almost a year later he Haswell has not contacted her again and has had the opportunity to ‘reflect upon his actions’.

Recorder Andrew Haslam QC, who sentenced Haswell, said: ‘She told you she was not interested in sexual intercourse and told you to leave her alone.

‘She told you repeatedly no to your sexual advances but you were able, due to your greater size, to get on top of her and rape her.

‘You sent 300 messages to her and then you commenced a series of screenshots on your phone showing you had attempted to kill yourself.

‘That was designed to make her feel guilty.’

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