A SEX attacker who laughed in his victim’s face and tried to silence her with threatening messages has been jailed for 16 months.

Benjamin Colley, 23, of York Place, Newport, was drunk when he assaulted his victim in the early hours.

The court heard he had then laughed in her face afterwards.

He later sent her messages ending with a mobile call in which he swore and threatened her again.

The woman, who had been left shaken and frightened, said in a victim impact statement: “I feel unprotected and demoralised and out of my depth.”

Colley, who was living in Exeter at the time of the offences, admitted sexual assault and witness intimidation.

Judge Erik Salomonsen sentenced Colley at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge said: “This was a serious sexual assault compounded by witness intimidation.

“Those who intimidate witnesses must expect immediate custody.”

Speaking about the assault, Alistair Verheijen, prosecuting, said: “She said no and the assault started. She told him to stop but he used his strength. It went on for a few seconds with her shouting for him to stop throughout.”

He added: “She heard him say he could do anything he wanted. He then laughed in her face.”

When arrested later, Colley told police she had lied and later sent the threatening messages.

David Evans, defending, said the sexual offence was out of character but Colley previously had anger control problems and wanted help for his drug abuse.

He said he accepts his behaviour was inexcusable and the threats were made when he was in despair about the case.