A BULLYING man who raped a vulnerable woman, having imprisoned her in her own kitchen after she refused to have sex with him, has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.
And Luigi Prota then tried to intimidate his victim within 30 minutes of learning police had spoken to her about the incident.
But she bravely gave evidence against him at Warwick Crown Court, where earlier this month he was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and witness intimidation.
Following an adjournment, Prota, 47 of Rowley Green Lane, Longford, Coventry, was jailed for a total of seven-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
During the trial prosecutor Michael Shaw said that in August 2016 Prota turned up at the woman’s home in the early hours of the morning and threw stones at her window.
He persuaded the woman, who he knew, to let him in on the pretext that a child with him needed to use the toilet.
Once inside, he sent the child to another room and he and the woman went into the kitchen where tried to persuade her to have sex with him.
She refused and asked him to leave, but he put his hand down her pyjama bottoms, telling her he wanted ‘a quickie.’
She pulled away and left the kitchen, but he shouted at her to go back, and she was too frightened to refuse.
Prota shut the door and told her he would not go until he had got what he wanted, then ‘pulled her to the floor and… raped her,’ said Mr Shaw.
She did not initially complain to the police because she was scared of him.
But a few weeks later she broke down and confided during a call with someone who was serving a prison sentence at the time.
“That is only significant because phone calls to and from prisons are recorded, and you will hear her telling him what this defendant had done to her,” Mr Shaw told the jury.
Prison authorities listened to the phone call and contacted Warwickshire Police, who then contacted the victim who told them what had happened.
The police could not initially find Prota, but just 30 minutes after he heard they were looking for him, he went to the woman’s home where he shouted threats at her.
When he was arrested, Prota accepted he had had sex with the woman, but claimed it had been consensual.
Asked by his barrister Blondel Thompson whether he had forced himself on her, he claimed: “No, I would never do that.”
After the jury’s verdicts, Judge Anthony Potter adjourned for an impact statement to be taken from the woman.
At the resumed hearing, he said she had described how her ordeal had left her suffering nightmares, having trouble sleeping, and having had to seek counselling, as well as it having had other effects on her life.
Miss Thompson said: “He knows this type of offence attracts a custodial sentence, and a lengthy one at that.
“Your Honour knows he has nine children, nine children he adores and a family he adores. He is close to them and provides for them generously.”
Jailing Prota, Judge Potter told him: “You were a man who was used to getting your own way and what you wanted.
“You were not prepared to accept she had a choice. You said you were not leaving until you got what you wanted.
“It was obvious that all resistance had been all but suppressed.”
Of the witness intimidation offence, the judge added: “You shouted at her in an angry fashion, making it plain you knew the police were involved and intending to intimidate her. You were determined to escape the consequences of what you did.”