London

Rapist infected woman with hepatitis C

A sex attacker who infected a woman with hepatitis C when he broke into her south London home and raped her has been jailed indefinitely.

The victim, aged in her 50s, was in bed when she awoke to find Lee Brophy, armed with a knife, standing over her.

He raped her twice before making her have a bath in an attempt to get rid of DNA evidence, the Old Bailey heard.

Brophy, 44, of Catford, south-east London, admitted rape and was given a minimum term of six years and 207 days.

The drug addict also pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary after he stole her credit cards, during the raid in March, and used them to obtain £500.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood to blood contact and is highly infectious.

About 20% of people clear the virus naturally within six months and there is a 50-80% success rate for people who receive treatment.

'Helpless and empty'

Judge Peter Rook said the "horrific" nature of the attack meant Brophy would receive an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

He said: "You subjected her to the most horrific of ordeals whilst holding her a prisoner in her own home.

"She thought that you were going to kill her.

"She feels helpless and empty. You have blighted the rest of her life."

The court heard Brophy broke into the property by removing a panel from the backdoor and cut the telephone line before the attack.

Brophy, who had recently been diagnosed with hepatitis C, raped his victim without using protection. She was later told she had contracted the disease.

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