Henlow soldier who raped woman at knifepoint jailed for 10 years

Jamal Jackson, 27, has been jailed for more than 10 years for raping a woman at knifepoint. Picture:

Jamal Jackson, 27, has been jailed for more than 10 years for raping a woman at knifepoint. Picture: Beds police - Credit: Archant

A Henlow soldier who raped a woman at knifepoint before trying to hang himself has today been jailed for more than 10 years.

Luton Crown Court heard that when the woman cried and started to pray, 27-year-old Jamal Jackson told her: “God can’t help you now.”

Judge Nigel Lithman jailed Jackson for 10 years and four months, saying: “You subjected her to an hour of torment.”

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said Jackson had brandished a knife with a black handle and smooth edge.

“She was terrified and prayed in her head,” said Mr Mulgrew.

“He told her to strip and get on top of him. He said he would put the knife down if she did not scream or pray. He raped her and caused her pain.”

After the attack, Jackson followed the woman to the toilet and then, at knifepoint, ordered her to shower – saying this would wash away the evidence.

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While he went for a shower, she grabbed her clothes, climbed out of a window and raised the alarm at an address nearby.

Mr Mulgrew said police were called and broke into the house – where they found Jackson had tried to hang himself.

He was taken to hospital and was only fit to be interviewed 11 days later.

In a personal statement to the court, the brave victim said she had felt very depressed after the attack – but added: “I have forgiven him. My church has helped me forgive him.”

Jackson, of Whitworth-Jones Avenue in Henlow, pleaded guilty in February to raping the woman on October 15 last year.

Olatokunbo Atanda, defending Jackson, said he was immature and had no previous convictions.

Before the attack he was a soldier in the British Army. Police said he had been based in Oxfordshire.

After the hearing, Det Con Karl Heywood from Bedfordshire Police said: “I’m hoping that this sentence will deter others from thinking this type of behaviour is ever acceptable, and allow the victim to begin the process of moving on from this horrific ordeal.

“In this case, the victim reported the incident to us immediately. We encourage anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual abuse to come forward and report their experiences, get support – and more importantly know they are not alone.”