A DEVON-based corporal has been jailed for 14 years after he raped, strangled and urinated on a young woman he had met on a dating app.
Sam Evans, 29, who was part of 29 Commando, in the Royal Artillery Regiment, carried out what was described as a ‘prolonged’ and ‘terrifying’ ordeal that had ‘destroyed’ the life of his victim.
He was today (Monday) sentenced to 14 years in custody and four years on licence after the victim gave a harrowing account of the devastating impact the attack on July 3 last year has had.
The court heard the defendant had met his victim, who can't be named for legal reasons, on Tinder and they had exchanged messages, but had not met until the early hours of that day.
Evans took the victim back to his flat, ordered her to take down her jeans and underwear and went on to ‘utterly humiliate’ her.
She was choked until she could hardly breathe in what the judge described as an ‘utterly savage attack’ and the ‘stuff of nightmares’.
Jailing him at Plymouth Crown Court today, Judge Robert Linford said the defendant and his victim had by ‘pure chance’ bumped into each other during a night out.
Addressing Evans, the judge said: ‘The two of you found yourself back at your flat. You produced a vibrator and she told you not to get any ideas.
‘That was a message you should have heeded, and you did not. Instead you started to touch her over her clothing.‘She said you had got the wrong idea about her – you ignored this sign and laughed at her.’
The judge outlined how the defendant sexually assaulted her and squeezed her throat ‘so hard she could not breathe’.
He said she was then slapped repeatedly around the face and ordered to remove her clothing.
The judge added: ‘You then utterly degraded and humiliated her by urinating on her.’
The judge told Evans: ‘Your life continued with no more than a hangover. But hers was utterly devastated.
‘Everyone who knows the sober hard working you, knows a gentle, kind, considerate man.
‘But that is incomprehensible when set alongside what you did that night through a combination of alcohol and sheer violent lust.
‘It was an utterly savage attack, the stuff of nightmares.’
He said the victim was left ‘utterly humiliated’ and said the attack was ‘sustained over many hours’ while she was ‘under your domination and control’.
Giving evidence, the woman said she remembered little from the night until she came around on a bed and feared she would never leave alive.
And in her victim impact statement, read to Plymouth Crown Court today (Monday), she outlined how she was gagged, spat on, urinated on and raped while she felt ‘trapped’ in his flat.
Evans had denied seven charges in relation to but was found guilty of one count of rape; two counts of assault by penetration; one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm; and one count of intentional strangulation.
After the trial in March, he was cleared of a second count of rape and a third count of assault by penetration.
In her statement, the victim said she went out for what should have been a normal evening with friends as a ‘normal, positive and happy young woman’ but added: ‘That version of myself never came home.’
She said as she came around she was ‘confused, unable to move and begun to panic what would happen.’
She added: ‘I was locked in and had no phone to call for help. I was trapped with a man who was all but a stranger.’
She said she felt ‘completely helpless and alone’ and felt no-one would come and save her.
‘I was not strong enough to save myself,’ she added.
She then told the court she was spat at, gagged, urinated on and strangled.
‘I cried and begged for it to stop, but I was taunted and laughed at. I was trapped in a permanent state of fear.’
The victim said she also lost consciousness as she was strangled. ‘I thought I was dying,’ she added. ‘I thought about my family and how I would never see them again.
‘I did not think I would ever leave that room alive or if my body would be found - as no one knew where I was.’
In the days that followed she said she spent most of the time in hospital paralysed in shock.
She added: ‘I felt detached from my body. I felt like I had lost my identity.’
She said she has since found it difficult to eat and has been hospitalised with malnourishment and has not been able to work since it happened.
She told the court: ‘This incident altered how I trust and perceive people.
‘I have lost my faith in humanity – it has had a huge physical impact on me and my day to day living. I am not sleeping properly and when I do I have nightmares.
‘At my lowest points, I felt life was not worth living anymore. I have lived in fear in my own home.
‘Sam Evans has done irreparable damage to my life. At this time, I can not see a way to move forward.
‘Despite all of this I have tried to make sense of it all. I have always had unanswered questions as to why he did this to me.
‘I have tried to conclude on the morning of the attack he was physically stronger.But I have a type of strength and self-respect he could never understand.’
Evans, of Plymouth, was described as a man of previous good character, who had no convictions and an impeccable military career. The judge said he had displayed ‘genuine remorse’ for what he had done and had written a letter to the judge with an apology forhis victim.