Devon

Rapist Fabian Thomas jailed indefinitely for Plymouth attack

Fabian Thomas
Image caption Thomas was living in Plymouth at the time of the attack

A convicted rapist who attacked a woman in Devon four months after being given early release has been jailed indefinitely.

Fabian Thomas, 23, pleaded guilty at Plymouth Crown Court to the attempted rape in the city on 20 February.

He was nicknamed the "Barefoot Rapist" after taking off his shoes to creep up on a woman in Taunton and rape her on New Year's Eve 2005.

Sentencing him, Judge Mark Horton said Thomas was "exceptionally dangerous".

Thomas, from Cardiff, was living in a bail hostel in Paradise Place, Plymouth, at the time of the attempted rape.

'Danger to women'

Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said: "On February 20 this year he engaged the services of a local prostitute who he then attacked.

"He held a knife to her throat and attempted to rape her but she broke free and got away."

Thomas was later arrested in Oxford and initially denied the attack before forensic evidence linked him to the crime.

He was jailed indefinitely for public protection and told he could not apply for parole until he had served at least five years.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Mark Horton told Thomas he would only be released when the probation service and prison authorities were satisfied he was no longer a danger to women.

Mr Evans said Thomas was originally jailed for eight years for rape in December 2006 at Taunton Crown Court.

He had raped a 17-year-old girl twice in the New Year's Eve attack.

He was released almost halfway through his sentence on 4 October 2010 and moved to the bail hostel in Plymouth.

'Signs not good'

Speaking after the latest case Det Con Nick Bloom, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said the hostel was "within a mile" of the scene of the attack.

He said: "He was required to report in daily but was otherwise free to go where he wanted."

Angie Conroy, of Rape Crisis, said: "Letting [Thomas] out early was an accident waiting to happen.

"The signs were not good in his case.

"We should use the provisions that exist to keep rapists locked up in prison to protect the public."

Jeremy Browne, Lib Dem MP for Taunton, said: "Rape is a very serious crime and the police and the courts have a duty to protect potential victims.

"The public expect this to include prison sentences and there should be correctional work to reduce the risk of further offending."

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