Victim's anger at rapist's half-sentence release

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image copyrightSouth Yorkshire Police
image captionBenjamin Recio-Nugent is due to be released on licence after serving half his 12-year jail term

A woman whose attacker is due to be freed after serving half his prison sentence for rape says she feels "sick at the thought" of his release.

Benjamin Recio-Nugent, from Sheffield, was jailed in 2016 for 12 years, but is due to be automatically released on licence towards the end of May.

His victim, who was repeatedly raped and tortured, said his release was "incredibly difficult" to comprehend.

Her family is campaigning for Recio-Nugent to serve his full jail term.

During her ordeal in 2015, the victim, who goes under the pseudonym of Laura as she has a right to life-long anonymity, was held captive, had piping hot water poured over her and, at one point, had a sock stuffed into her mouth to muffle her screams.

The attack in Recio-Nugent's Sheffield flat lasted seven and a half hours, police said.

When he is released, he will have served half his jail term for rape, attempted rape, four counts of sexual assault by penetration and assault, for which he was convicted following a trial.

Laura said: "I'm finding it incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact he will be released from prison within a month.

"How do you get your head around the thought of running into someone at the local shops who held you captive and violated you in the most degrading ways imaginable?"

image captionA Sheffield-wide exclusion zone is being sought by Laura's family to prevent her encountering her attacker

Laura said her attacker never showed any remorse and the thought of having to "face the monster" was "re-traumatising".

She said she hoped he would have to serve his full sentence so she could "recover from the trauma".

"Six years doesn't seem like anything in comparison to the psychological trauma he caused to me and my family.

"I feel sick at the thought of ever having to see him again.

"How can they possibly know for sure he will not hurt somebody else? They can't."

The law changed in April 2020, ending the automatic half-way release for offenders convicted of rape, manslaughter and GBH after that date, with those criminals having to spend two thirds of their sentence behind bars.

But a petition by Laura's father is calling for "the new rules to be applied retrospectively" to those being released half-way through their jail term and has so far received over 1,750 signatures.

Laura's father said her family was trying to secure a Sheffield-wide exclusion zone for Recio-Nugent if they could not stop him being released.

The Ministry of Justice said what Laura suffered was "a horrific crime" and added: "Those released on licence face strict conditions - including non-contact orders and exclusion zones - and a return to prison if they breach them."

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