A 27-year-old man from Chester has been jailed having been found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a woman from the city.
Adam Hughes, of Sandringham Avenue, Great Broughton, admitted stalking his victim between mid-August and November.
The stalking included bombarding his victim with social media messages and phone calls and gaining access to her Chester home.
The victim had the courage to report the offences to the police and Hughes was subsequently charged with three offences – stalking involving fear of violence, rape and sexual assault.
He pleaded guilty to the stalking charge and was convicted of the rape and sexual assault offences at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 2 May following a three-day trial.
Hughes was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison.
Detective Constable Natalie Whitehead, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Dedicated Rape Unit, said: “Stalking is an insidious crime that steals lives.
“In this instance the stalking escalated to rape and sexual assault.
“The victim has been incredibly brave in coming forward and reporting the despicable offences and what has been a hugely traumatic experience for her.
“I would also like to acknowledge her courage in going to court and giving evidence against Hughes to help secure this conviction, something he forced her to do by denying the rape and sexual assault offences.
“By pleading not guilty to those offences he continued to show a blatant disregard for his victim.
“Specialist officers at the force’s Dedicated Rape Unit continue to support the victim through the horrific ordeal Hughes has put her through.
“Whilst she will never be able to forget all that Hughes has subjected her to, I hope that the custodial sentence he has been handed by the courts provides her with some closure and enables her to begin to move forward with her life.
“I also hope that this case and the sentence that Hughes has received encourages other victims of stalking and sexual offences to come forward and report the offences to us.”
Detective Inspector Sean Lonergan, also of Cheshire’s Dedicated Rape Unit, said: “Cheshire Constabulary takes any allegation of stalking or sexual offences extremely seriously.
“Any allegation will be thoroughly investigated, with the wishes and needs of the victim as our main priority.
“Victims should never feel ashamed to talk about what has happened to them.
“They will receive the help and support they need from our specialist officers, whether at our Dedicated Rape Unit or our Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit, as well as from other support agencies we work alongside.”