A man has been jailed after raping and sexually assaulting a woman in Ellesmere Port.
Max Dufley, 34, of West Kirby, appeared at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, 16 January, where he was sentenced to six years.
He was previously found guilty of one count of rape and one count of sexual assault by penetration.
The investigation began on 18 June 2021, after a woman contacted police to report she had been raped by Dufley in May 2021. During the incident, she had awoken to find Dufley sexually assaulting her, before raping her.
After a thorough investigation, Dufley was subsequently charged with the offences in August 2022.
He originally denied the charges but was found guilty on Thursday, 5 October, following a four-day trial.
On top of his prison sentence, Dufley is subject to a restraining order, sexual harm prevention order, and must sign the sex offender register.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Laura Lee said, “I welcome the sentence handed to Dufley and hope the fact that he is now behind bars will provide some sense of closure for the victim in this case, who was understandably extremely distressed and shaken following the incident.
“This has been hanging over her for the past two years, and I would like to pay tribute to her strength throughout this investigation, including having to go through the ordeal of coming to court for trial after Dufley failed to show accountability for his actions.
“I hope this will also serve as a reminder that we will always do everything we can to tackle crimes of this nature and we encourage those who have been a victim of a sexual offence to speak out.
“You will be taken seriously, and any allegation will be thoroughly investigated, while offering you help and support.”
The victim in this case, who is exercising her legal right to anonymity, said, “This has been hanging over me for over the last two years and I have felt that I could not move on with my life until I got the closure I needed and him convicted for what he has put me through.
“From what he has done to me, I am not the same person as I no longer trust people as much as I did.
“Back in summer 2021, when the offences took place, I was not sleeping well at all due to the anxiety I suffered about him. I was constantly worried he would come back and hurt me.
“I honestly do not think I would be here if it was not for the support of my family, friends, and seeing a psychiatrist, and I am so grateful for this support.
“I am also thankful for the support of DC Laura Lee.”
In an emergency always call 999. Information can also be given anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
Image: Cheshire Constabulary