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Detectives have praised a rape victim for her bravery after her attacker was jailed for ten years.
Paul Ballard was found guilty on all counts at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday July 30 after denying rape, attempted rape, assault, criminal damage and threats to kill.
During a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Friday October 1, he was sentenced to ten years in prison. That sentence will run consecutively to a nine-year-sentence which he is currently serving for an unrelated matter.
Ballard, of Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, launched an attack on the woman shortly after 5am on September 19, 2020 in a hotel in Hatfield Heath.
During the incident, the 39-year-old told the victim: “Your life is ending. You’re dying tonight.”
However, the victim bravely fled the room and found a member of hotel staff, who then called the police.
We attended and safeguarded the woman, who has been supported throughout the last 12 months by specialist officers.
Ballard had claimed to have had consensual sex with the woman and denied he had threatened her.
But the jury found him guilty on all counts.
Speaking after sentencing today, the leading investigator Detective Constable Dan Lambert said: “Today, Ballard has been sentenced to ten years in jail after subjecting the woman to a terrifying ordeal.
“Our priority throughout this investigation has been ensuring her welfare and securing justice for her. The strength she has shown has been remarkable throughout.
“As a force, we take crimes against women and girls extremely seriously and I very proud to have played a part in securing justice for Ballard’s victim and he will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars as a result.
“I want to again pay tribute to the bravery shown by the victim in this case. No one should ever have to go through the ordeal she has endured but I hope there is some comfort in the knowledge that her attacker is now behind bars for some time.”