Derbyshire park rape victim ‘thought she was going to be murdered’

Nigel Wood, 52, of Long Eaton, has been jailed for eight years for raping a woman in December 2015.
Nigel Wood, 52, of Long Eaton, has been jailed for eight years for raping a woman in December 2015.

A rapist has been jailed for eight years after his victim told how she ‘thought she was going to be murdered’ as she was held down and attacked in a Derbyshire park.

Nigel Wood met the victim, in her 50s, in a bar Long Eaton, and they shared a drink.

He asked if she would like to go and see his boat, moored nearby, but as they reached West Park he attacked her.

Wood pushed her to the ground, held her arms down and raped her.

Derby Crown Court heard how, after it was over, he warned her ‘not to tell anyone’ but she was able to get free and to a local supermarket - where she broke down in front of the cashiers saying ‘I’ve been raped’.

In a victim impact statement, she told how since it took place, in December 2015, she feels angry with herself and feels she has ‘suffered permanent psychological damage because of the pressure of coming to court to give relive the ordeal”.’

Sentencing Wood, Recorder Steven Evans said: “She was an easy target because she’d had quite a lot to drink. You led her to an isolated location where you knew few people would be around. You pushed her to the ground and you raped her.

“Then, when it was over, you warned her not to tell anybody.

“You cared nothing about her welfare thinking about yourself and your immediate needs.

“You have showed no remorse, I am perfectly satisfied you knew what you were doing.”

Wood, of Crowcroft Way, Long Eaton, denied any physical contact had taken place between him and the victim until he was cross-examined during his three-day trial this week.

Clive Stockwell, prosecuting, said Wood had met the woman in the Bass House pub, in Long Eaton High Street and they had shared some drinks.

Wood then told her he lived on a boat at Trent Lock and asked if she would like to see it, to which she agreed. But as they left, the 52-year-old led her to West Park where he raped her.

Mr Stockwell said: “It is almost the actions of a caveman rather than someone in today’s society.

“She told you (the jury) that she thought she was going to be murdered. She said she thought she would never see her children again.”

The jury took less than an hour to find Wood guilty of rape and following their verdict, Mr Stockwell read out the victim’s impact statement.

In it she said: “I find it hard to put into words the impact this has had on me and my family.

“I suffer anxiety, I am on edge all of the time, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder which has contributed significantly to my depression.”

Roger Wilson, for Wood, said his client is a father and grandfather and has no previous convictions for any sexual offences.

“He said: “He is not someone that is preying on women, it was a one-off that was committed spontaneously, a spur of the moment action.

“Psychologically Mr Wood is someone that has a low level of understanding.

“This is a prison sentence he is going to struggle with, it will drastically affect him and he will need a watchful eye over him.”