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Pensioner raped in her own bed is praised for her "enormous compassion"
An 88-year-old woman who was raped in her own bed has been commended for her “enormous compassion”.
The Hove pensioner said she sympathised with Daniel Hewett, 23, who broke into her home and launched a “sustained and terrifying attack”.
Hewett, of no fixed address, was jailed for ten years after pleading guilty at Hove Crown Court yesterday.
Armed with a kitchen knife, the “fit and strong” rapist attacked the 5ft, six stone woman on May 25 2013.
Afterwards she tried to calm her attacker down and he “poured his heart out” to her.
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In a victim impact statement read out in court she said: “There was constant fear having got his way with me that he might have finished me off.”
He told her afterwards: “Why have I done this to you? I wouldn’t have done this to my own mother.”
But the “remarkable” victim said: “He was obviously remorseful and said he needed help and I told him surely there were people who could help him.
“Despite his violation I did feel some sympathy towards him.
“It was a relief it was by a clean presentable young man, not by some person too awful to describe.”
She added: “I didn’t welcome his attention and do not wish it again.
“Let’s hope lightning does not strike in the same place twice.
“I feel like I have had a lucky escape.”
The pensioner concluded with a hymn: “If in our lives maybe some ill unwanted comes our way, dip in our hearts thy spirit will give power to win the day.”
Drug and alcohol abuser Hewett said he could not recall the attack and was arrested after falling asleep in the victim’s bed.
The court heard he had struggled since being released from a five-year prison term for a violent attack in 2007.
Philip Wakeham, defending Mr Hewett said: “He remains to this day completely mystified that he’s committed this offence against a lady of her years.”
Judge David Rennie commended the victim for the “measured and touching” way that she expressed herself.
Sentencing, he said: “I am convinced you are a dangerous young man.
“You do not seem to care about the rights or needs of others and cannot control your most basic impulses.
“Your victim had decided to remain celibate through her long life, which was a matter of pride and you have taken that from her in a cruel and cynical manner.”
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