A JAILED rapist left his victim living in fear after he sent her a secret letter from his prison cell at Channings Wood.

Andrew Dawson was serving a six year sentence for raping two women in the 2000s and 2010s when he tracked down the first victim and sent her the self-pitying screed.

He sent the letter despite being banned from any sort of contact with his victims by a restraining order.

He was branded as selfish by a judge who described the letter as being like ‘an unexploded grenade’ which had destroyed all the progress the woman had made in recovering from her rape ordeal.

She wrote a victim impact statement saying she feared Dawson would track her down when he was released and that his contact had undone the work of three years’ intensive therapy.

She said: ‘I am afraid to be alone and worry he will be around the corner. If he could not keep to the restraining order when he was in prison, what will he do when he is released?’

The letter was sent in July last year, when Dawson was in Channings Wood prison with ten months of his sentence to serve. He was released in May and has not tried to contact the woman again.

Dawson, aged 34, previously of Stonehouse, Gloucester, but now living in a post-release hostel in Great Holm, Milton Keynes, admitted breaching a restraining order and was jailed for eight months, suspended for a year and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: ‘Your motive was selfish in that you did not care or chose not to think about the effect or impact. There were no threats, but that is not the point.

‘The mere existence of the letter was calculated to undermine or corrupt the progress which the victim had been able to make over the two or three years since the offence was committed.

‘Her whole world started to collapse around her again and she was not able to continue with that progress. You are an intelligent man and you must have known you were sending an unexploded grenade to her in the form of that letter.’

The judge told Dawson he was suspending the sentence because of the inexplicable 13 month delay in bringing the case to court and the progress he had made during the last 10 months of his sentence and since his release.

He told him he would go to prison and serve eight months on top of any new sentence if he breaks the ten-year-long order again.

Mr Ali Rafati, prosecuting, said Dawson sent the letter on July 14 and it was not spotted by prison staff because he used a different name for the victim, but one which he knew she would recognise.

He wrote about his fears of how he would cope with his impending release. He apologised for the crime and said he was depressed. He later told police he expected to be caught and sent the letter because he wanted to stay in prison.

Dawson was jailed for six years at Gloucester Crown Court on July 2, 2019 for raping two separate women in Stonehouse.

Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Dawson had no intention of causing alarm and his initial intention was to get his sentence extended because he was worried about how he would cope outside jail.

He said that in the final part of his sentence he completed the Horizon sex offenders’ treatment course which had given him new insight into the effect of his behaviour on the victim.