A BUSINESSMAN with a sexual "fetish" has been jailed for six years for raping a woman as she slept.

In a victim impact statement, she described how Mark Alan Smith's actions towards her left her terrified she would lose her business.

The jury heard Smith was a door to door salesman and cold caller who sold to businesses and also ran a recruitment agency.

Jailing him for six years, Judge Guy Kearl QC told Smith: "You bullied her, you intimidated her. Even after being charged, you continued to bully her and tried to force her to withdraw her complaint. You knew you had a problem, you did nothing about it for years."

Smith's crimes had so affected the woman "she will carry it with her for ever."

Smith, 27, formerly of Bishopthorpe and York, and now of Auty Crescent, Wakefield, was convicted by a jury at York Crown Court last month of three charges of raping the woman, who lives in York, and one of sexually assaulting her. He had denied the charges.

Detective Constable Vicky Hildred, of York Serious Crime Team, who headed the investigation into Smith, said: “I would like to thank the victim for speaking out about her abuse. It takes a lot of courage for someone to report such an ordeal and it has been compounded by having to give evidence in court. Thankfully, Smith was found guilty and is now facing jail."

The jury heard Smith went to his GP claiming he had a sexual "fetish" and described what he had done to the woman. For him, Simon Kealey handed in references and said the GP visits had been to obtain help. All the offences had occurred before the GP visits.

"It will be a very difficult period of time for him in custody," said Mr Kealey.

In addition to the jail term, Smith was put on the sex offenders' register indefinitely, and made subject to a restraining order stopping him from contacting the woman in any way, directly or indirectly, for the rest of his life or go near her home.

The police officer urged all other victims of sexual crimes to contact the police, or if they didn't want to speak to an officer, the North Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre at Bridge House on 01904 669339.

“No-one should suffer in silence if they are being abused," she said.