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Serial Manchester Rapist Jailed For Life
A "sadistic" serial rapist who targeted lone women while cruising Manchester's streets in his works van has been jailed for life.
Adam Downworth subjected his five victims to brutal sexual assaults, with one woman needing reconstructive surgery to her face and another strangled until she was unconscious.
The 32-year-old randomly selected lone females while driving around Stockport and Gorton at night, before stalking them on foot.
Police in the area became so fearful of further attacks during the office cleaner's 10-month reign of terror that they began offering women lifts home in patrol cars.
In sentencing Downworth, the judge at Manchester Crown Court said: "The vicious physical attacks were accompanied by verbal assaults calculated to terrify and humiliate."
He was told he would serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.
There were cheers and applause from the public gallery as the sentence was delivered, with one woman shouting: "I hope he dies a slow death."
The court previously heard Downworth took a "sadistic pleasure" in the attacks.
He evaded detection by wearing surgical gloves during his first four rapes, but was spotted fleeing after his fifth assault - which lasted around 40 minutes.
Officers found him and his van nearby, before using CCTV of his van, petrol receipts and mobile phone records to link him to the other attacks.
Searches of his home later revealed martial arts manuals and books on choking and strangling, forensic science and the psychological profiling of criminals.
The court heard he told one victim: "I'll have to kill you now", after attacking her - but that she had managed to escape bloodstained and covered in dirt.
Victims suffered serious and lasting psychological harm and people in the public gallery in court wept while hearing the women's accounts of how their lives had changed.
One described attempting suicide, while another said she had had difficulty in speaking and chewing as a result of injuries sustained during her beating.
"My life has changed so much since the attack," one woman told the court.
"The smallest noise scares me. I have flashbacks of the night it happened. I find it hard to chew because my jaw was broken in so many places.
"If I walk anywhere on my own I am always looking over my shoulder. I am scared of my own shadow. I am not the same person and never will be.
"What saved my life was my daughters. I was thinking this could be one if them. I used every last little bit of my strength. I thought I was going to die.
"I just went numb after all the kicks in the face. My face is in constant pain. It is like I am dreaming. I look in the mirror and I don't look or feel like the same person."
Another victim said: "Every time I look in the mirror it brings it all back. I have tried to hide the scars in my face with make-up but it doesn't work. The attack has made my face look rough. I will never feel truly safe again."
One woman told the court: "I was a happy person. I always used to see the best in people. Now I only see the worst. I put up barriers. I am cynical about all men now. Adam Downworth made me feel worthless. But I will move on. I will try to find happiness."
He used a mobile phone stolen off one victim to send crude, threatening and sexual text messages to strangers found on Facebook.
In one he said: "You are a proper slag from what I hear. Dya really fink really ur so atraktive, ha."
He was found guilty after a three-month trial of 13 charges including rape, attempted rape, assault by penetration and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.