Posted on Friday 20 January 2023
Detectives have praised a woman for her bravery which has led to her attacker being given a 19-year prison sentence.
Violent rapist Jamie Thomas Mason approached the woman as she was out running in Spennymoor on the morning of Saturday, October 22 last year.
The 21-year-old dragged her into the nearby Jubilee Park and repeatedly punched her in the face causing serious injury, telling her he would kill her if she did not cooperate.
He then subjected the woman to a terrifying hour-long attack, before she bravely managed to escape and run to a nearby groundskeeper who raised the alarm.
Mason fled the scene but was located later that day by a police officer on South Road, in Durham, where he was immediately arrested and brought into custody for questioning.
Detectives charged him with four counts of rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), making threats to kill, and kidnap and remanded him in custody.
Mason, of no fixed abode, initially admitted one count of rape, plus kidnap, making threats to kill and ABH, but pleaded not guilty to the three remaining charges of rape.
However, after a trial was scheduled to take place, he changed his plea to guilty.
He appeared at Durham Crown Court today (January 20) where he was jailed for 13-and-a-half years, with an extended licence period of six years. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
In an emotive victim impact statement, the woman described how the terrifying attack has impacted on her life.
“In the time since I was attacked, I constantly worry about loved ones going out in public,” she said. “I still can’t go out running in public – I have thought about it but feel that I’m not ready. If I think about going running it makes me feel anxious and the thoughts of being attacked come into my head.
“I have heard people say: “You shouldn’t go out running or don’t go out running after dark.” They just don’t appreciate that it’s not what I was doing – he brutally attacked and raped me, therefore he is the one in the wrong, not me.”
She added: “I know he has now entered guilty pleas. However, I do not feel that any sentence he is given by the court can be enough. For him it is just time, I have to live with this for the rest of my life.
“I will always be a rape victim and will have to live with the trauma and issues that come with this. I accept that he will always be a rapist, but he doesn’t have the psychological issues that I have as a result.
“He will never walk in a dark area and worry about what might happen to him; he will never worry who is walking behind him when he is out in public; and he will never fear that any stranger could be a potential attacker. These are all fears I have with me constantly.”
Detectives investigating the case have praised the woman’s bravery and courage following the attack, and throughout the subsequent criminal justice process.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Chaney from Durham Constabulary said: “This was a truly shocking and abhorrent incident – the levels of sexual violence used by Mason against an innocent woman were some of the worst I have seen during my 20-year career as a police officer. Mason is a vile individual who should be utterly ashamed of his actions.
“Thankfully, he was located quickly by officers who brought him off the streets and into police custody, where he could not harm anyone else.
“I would like to commend the woman for her incredible bravery following this incident. She has shown great fortitude throughout the criminal justice process in being prepared to stand up and give evidence against her attacker.
“I hope today’s result brings her some closure and allows her to move forward with her life.”
He added: “If you have suffered sexual abuse, please come forward and report it to us – either on 101, or in an emergency by calling 999.
“We take all investigations into rape and sexual assault very seriously and will support you every step of the way.
“If you don’t want to talk to the police, you can still access help through The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre.”
To contact The Meadows, call 0333 448 283, or visit their website www.themeadowsdurham.org.uk