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Burglar Returned To Home To Rape Woman
A woman raped by a burglar who returned to smash down her front door and launch a terrifying sex attack has said she thought she was going to die.
Ashley Mills was sentenced to 18 years at Portsmouth Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges including three counts of rape and one of attempted rape.
The victim, aged 59, and known as Linda, has waived her right to anonymity.
She described how she woke on June 29 this year to the sound of Mills smashing his way through her front door with an iron bar.
Linda said she confronted the 28-year-old in her hallway, who said he just wanted a "glass of water".
Mills then headbutted his victim and admitted "I've come to rape you" before grabbing a carving knife from Linda's kitchen.
He threatened to use it if she did not comply with his demands.
"I just had to submit and he did what he wanted," said Linda.
Mills first targeted Linda's Hampshire home in 2009 when he burgled it after she allowed him to camp in her garden.
He was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years for that offence, and for arson on a church.
Speaking to the Portsmouth News about the sex attack, Linda said: "I thought Ashley Mills was going to kill me.
"I was convinced that, as he had smashed in my front door to get me, he could completely cross the line and kill me, so he would not leave a witness who could ID him.
"I was terrified of being stabbed and how painful it would be.
"When now I see on the TV women who are raped and killed, I get upset, because I know the terror they went through."
Linda said she hid in her garage after the attack but then heard Mills' footsteps as he returned to the property.
"I waited about 10 minutes and I heard his footsteps coming back," she told the Portsmouth News.
"I was terrified. Then I didn't hear any more and ran to the neighbours. I have to run through the woods. I thought I was going to run into him.
"His attack on me was long and prolonged. He was in no hurry to get it over with."
Police who worked on the case have paid tribute to Linda's bravery.
Detective Sergeant Glenn Robinson, from Portsmouth CID, said: "Mills broke into his victim's house and put her through a terrifying ordeal which is reflected in the very long sentence handed down to him.
"We are grateful to the victim in this matter who has shown great courage in coming forward and providing the evidence that led to Mills's conviction."
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