Devon

Burglar guilty of raping woman in her Ilfracombe home

Ross Wyborn Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Ross Wyborn has nine previous convictions for burglary and another for underage sex

A burglar has been found guilty of raping a woman who was in the bath when he broke into her house.

Ross Wyborn, 25, came face-to-face with his victim after she left the bathroom to investigate strange noises, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He forced the woman to perform a sex act on him before groping her and raping her again.

The attack only stopped when the woman's daughter heard the attack and came out of her bedroom.

Wyborn, who has nine previous convictions for burglary and another for underage sex, then fled the property through the front door of the Ilfracombe home after the attack on 21 May.

Piers Norsworthy, prosecuting, said the victim got out of the bath to investigate the noises, wearing only a towel and was assaulted by Wyborn.

When the woman's daughter arrived it "appeared to put him off" and Wyborn pushed her, causing her to "fly back into her bedroom," he added.

Wyborn was identified by DNA from the scene and by the victim, who found an image which he had posted of himself on Facebook.

After his arrest, Wyborn claimed he had never been to the house, but changed his story twice during a five-day trial.

'Utterly ridiculous defence'

He then said he had met the victim in a pub and paid for sex, before he told the jury he had known the woman for three years and had consensual sex twice before the night of the rape.

Despite claiming he had been invited to the house by his victim on Snapchat, Wyborn could not explain why the woman did not have the app on her phone, and would not give police access to his own.

Judge Timothy Rose told Wyborn his defence was "utterly ridiculous", adding the evidence against him was overwhelming and he could expect a "very significant" time in prison after being found guilty of two counts of rape, sexual assault, and assault by battery of the child.

He remains in custody and will be sentenced on 20 February.

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