A MAN who viciously attacked and raped a young woman has been jailed for 13 years.

Luke Smith, 27, a labourer of no fixed address, was sentenced with an extended licence period of a further six years.

He will have to serve two-thirds of his 13-year sentence before being allowed to apply for parole, and will have to spend a further six years on licence supervision from the date of his release.

He will be a registered sex offender for life.

Smith, who had been drinking on his own in Hastings town centre, saw a 19-year-old woman as she was on her way home after a night out in the early hours of Saturday, December 15, last year.

He took her to a secluded part of West Hill, near to the West Hill cafe, where he repeatedly raped her and brutally attacked her, including hitting her over the head with a rock.

The woman managed to escape when Smith was distracted looking for his mobile phone.

Smith, who initially lied about the attack, was convicted on Friday, June 7, at Hove Crown Court after a five-day trial.

Detective Sergeant Steve Shimmons of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said the attack was the “most violent rape” that he had ever seen.

He said: “He tried to suggest in court that he had consensual sex with the victim and did not attack her.

“The jury in this case saw through his lies and have rightly now convicted him of this terrible offence.”

DS Shimmons said he wanted to commend the courage of the victim who came forward and supported the investigation with evidence.

He said: “Her victim impact statement which she courageously read out in person at the sentencing was very powerful and moving, setting out in no uncertain terms the effect this attack had on her.

“We hope that with support she will now be able to move on with her life.

“Stranger attacks of this type are very rare. We always carry out swift and thorough investigations of all reported sexual assaults and we are glad that justice has now been done for this young woman.”

Detective Inspector Ben Newman said: “We were told about this horrific attack early that morning and immediate enquiries identified the scene.

“Here our CSI team found a hoody cord which was sent for forensic analysis to a laboratory.

“Luke Smith’s DNA was found on the cord and also our victim’s blood.

“As a result we were able to quickly arrest Smith and during a search of his bedroom, we found a T-shirt, hoody jacket (minus cord) and jeans.

“Each item had the victim’s blood on. In addition, Smith’s DNA was found on the victim’s bra.

“We also found Smith’s blood and the victim’s DNA on a sandstone rock close to the scene. Through consultation with our colleagues at CPS Smith was subsequently charged and remanded into custody five days later. I am so pleased that justice has been served for this brave young woman.”