A RAPIST who threatened to kill his victim while holding a knife has been jailed for 11 years.

Preston Crown Court heard how alcoholic Mohammed Shafiq, 41, also physically assaulted his victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and subjected her to verbal abuse.

Shafiq, 41, of Higher Antley Street, Accrington, always denied the charges but was convicted of rape, making threats to kill, sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial at Burnley Crown Court earlier this year.

Summarising the victim’s impact statement, prosecutor, Francis McEntee said: “As a consequence of the defendant’s actions she is extremely frightened.

“She struggles to sleep at night if she hears noises.

“She struggles with anxiety and loss of appetite. She is trying to get help with that problem. She feels isolated because she is afraid to go out.

“When she hears a car pulling up she is concerned it is him.

“It has affected her physically.

“She has frequent headaches and struggles with fatigue. She describes herself as not being the person she once was.”

Judge Sara Dodd said it was clear Shafiq’s offending had had a significant impact on his victim.

She said: “You are now 41. At the time of these incidents you were a fit and healthy man, a physically strong man.

“Your addiction to alcohol has caused various issues to you of late. It seems today you are less frail than you were at the trial. I am aware the period of incarceration will cause some difficulties for you.”

After the sentencing hearing Sgt Kirsty Stoddard, who led the investigation, said: “I am pleased with the sentence and it sends a clear message that Lancashire Constabulary and the courts will not tolerate this despicable behaviour.

“I would like to praise the victim in this case for the bravery she displayed first of all in coming forward and then while giving evidence in the trial.

“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual violence to come forward with the confidence that we will investigate with sensitivity and professionalism.”