August 2012

Brutal rapist jailed for life after night of terror

A knife-wielding rapist who repeatedly stabbed a young woman and left her “millimetres from death” has been jailed for life.

Haydn Prager, 22, launched what was described by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court as a “murderous attack” at a house near Tunbridge Wells during the early hours of February 18.

The woman, who cannot be named, was said to have been “humiliated and tormented” throughout her ordeal – much of which was overheard by police after she made a desperate 999 call for help.

A knife used in the attack was bent, while another broke above the hilt. The woman was brutally raped and her hair tied to a sink unit handle.

The court heard a 15-year-old boy was also stabbed 11 times by Prager, while another teenager in the house suffered spinal injuries when he fled by jumping from an upstairs window to raise the alarm.

Judge Philip Statman said officers were met with “utter carnage” when they arrived at the house. They found a naked Prager holding scissors to the semi-conscious, semi-naked, blood-stained woman and threatening to kill her if they tried to intervene.

“The officers believed they would watch her slip away in that bathroom,” said Dianne Chan, prosecuting.

The court heard when paramedics were finally allowed to treat her, the woman was white from loss of blood and just five minutes from death.

Her injuries included a 6cm cut to her neck, which was within millimetres of severing a major artery, a cut to her tongue, and a fracture to a spinal bone.

She spent six weeks in hospital and now has difficulties with speech, swallowing, gripping with her hands and walking. Doctors have said it is unlikely she will ever be able to run again.

The boy suffered knife wounds to his neck, chest, arm and shoulder, as well as aninverted ‘J’ shape cut to his cheek, which penetrated his mouth.

Several victim impact statements were read out in court, in which the female victim described herself as “ugly and ruined” – and like the monster Frankenstein.

In one, she said: “I’d rather die than struggle for the rest of my life,” and in another she said: “I just wish for the day when I am back to normal. But I know it will be a long journey until I’m back.”

In his victim impact statement, the boy spoke of his anger and mental anguish and how he had missed out on both education and sporting opportunities. “This should be the time of my life,” he added

Prager, of South View Road, Tunbridge Wells, admitted two offences of attempted murder and one of rape. An offence of aggravated burglary was left on file.

He was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 10 years. Both his victims were in court.

Passing sentence, Judge Statman told Prager, who is said to have a borderline personality disorder with psychopathic traits, he had broken into the house and subjected both his victims to “vicious and sustained” attacks.

Referring to the 999 call, which was not played in open court, he added: “Her struggle for life, the pain she was suffering, are all graphically brought to life in the 999 call. You showed her no mercy.”

The judge also said Prager’s voice was “clear and calm” on the recording, while the woman “desperately cried out for help”.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Statman said in his 37-year legal career, he could not recall a case where the victims had behaved with such courage and bravery.

He described the female victim as “quite an extraordinary young woman of the highest bravery” and praised her “most remarkable determination”.

Judge Statman added that the teenage boy had also behaved with “consummate bravery” and could not have done more to help.

He also praised the police, paramedics and medical teams.

Prager, who sat in the dock with his head bowed during most of the hearing, told police he had planned the attack and deserved a life sentence.