England

Norfolk rapist who held Cambridge woman hostage gets life

Jason O'Dell
Image caption O'Dell was jailed for life and will be put on the sex offenders' register

A man who beat and raped his girlfriend and kept her hostage in his Norfolk flat for two weeks has been jailed for life.

Jason O'Dell, 43, of Daisy Street, Wymondham, attacked the 38-year-old woman at her Cambridge home in September, breaking her ribs and nose.

He then took her to his flat to cover up the assault and raped her three times before she managed to escape.

He was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday.

A spokesman from Cambridgeshire Police said following the initial attack on 5 September, O'Dell made the victim scrub her own blood from the floor to remove evidence of the assault.

'In agony'

He then forced the woman back to his flat and made her dye her hair so she would not be recognised.

In a statement released through police, the victim said she had been raped at O'Dell's flat while she was "in agony" from her injuries.

She said: "I only met him in July last year. I didn't plan to get into a relationship with him but I was helpless against his mind games.

"From the moment I met him, I had a feeling deep down that something bad was going to happen but didn't know what to do to stop it."

Since the attack the woman said she had lost her job and had moved away from Cambridge, where her children still live.

"I'm a strong person but he completely messed my head up," she said.

She went to the police because she feared for her life, she said, and agreed to speak about her ordeal to encourage other victims to report abuse.

O'Dell was convicted of three counts of rape, two counts of actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating.

He was also found guilty of affray and damaging the victim's property.

O'Dell, who had 20 previous convictions for 79 offences, must serve a minimum term of nine years and will be on the sex offenders' register for life.

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