Man jailed for 12 years for rape - St Albans


A man who helped a St Albans woman he had met in an alcohol rehabilitation unit was jailed for 12 years today, Friday, 06 June 2014, after being convicted of raping her.

Andrew Matthews, aged 52, travelled from his home in Somerset to stay at the woman's home after he befriended her.  But, St Albans Crown Court heard, as time went on she relapsed and he would promise her more drink in return for sex.

Matthews, of The Oval, Yeovil, told the jury he loved the woman, who was much younger than him.  He was convicted of raping the woman on a number of occasions between 01 February and 01 April last year. The jury cleared him of raping her in the period before Christmas 2012.

Andel Singh, defending, said Matthews was a man of previous good character, who had only one conviction for drink driving. He said it was a very odd case as the jury cleared him of one set of rapes.  He said: "He was infatuated with her. He went to help her and his Jekyll and Hyde character came out."

Judge John Plumstead told him: "You developed a one-sided obsession with the victim and used and abused her after alcohol.  There had been a slight sexual relationship. She submitted to sex with you out of friendship and gratitude to you for helping her.  As she relapsed she became helpless, you took advantage of her. Worse still you offered to get her drink if she submitted to sex. It was a prolonged series of offences. You used alcohol to undermine a very unhappy woman."  The judge said it was good news that the woman is now recovering.

Matthews must sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

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