2015: Serial rapist handed second life sentence after third victim recognised his picture on Facebook
Shaun Hopkins was jailed for life with a minimum of nine years last year for two horrific sex attacks. Another victim approached police after reading about his case
Liverpool double rapist struck eight years apart leaving one victim pregnant
A dangerous sex offender who strangled a teenager unconscious before raping and beating her had raped a woman years before but was never prosecuted.
Shaun Hopkins, 27, attacked the student as she was walking through Liverpool after having a few drinks with her boyfriend in October last year.
But it wasn’t the first terrifying sex attack the father-of-two had carried out, having already raped a woman in 2005 leaving her pregnant with his child – who is now eight years old.
David Potter, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court how Hopkins saw his most recent victim when he was giving a friend a lift home near Smithdown Road and saw the girl who he thought looked drunk.
The security guard said if he had his I.D card on him he would show it to her so she would know he was “not a psycho” and give her a lift home.
After he dropped his friend off he did a u-turn and overtook his victim.
She did not remember getting in his car but later told police he grabbed her around the neck, saying: “It was like he had done it before.
“He knew how to hold me down so I couldn’t move at all. I just remember thinking I’m definitely going to die. I think I was trying to say do whatever you want but just don’t kill me.”
She said she feigned being dead and then tried to attack him but he beat her repeatedly and choked her unconscious before raping her and dumping her in the road.
She was later found by her boyfriend with two black eyes and more than 30 other wounds.
Police managed to track Hopkins’ Ford C-Max and though it had been valeted found his victim’s blood on the steering wheel.
Hopkins, of Third Avenue, Fazakerley, admitted rape and two counts of assault by penetration.
His victim told the court that while she had been “independent and adventurous” she now didn’t want to do anything, had trouble sleeping and had nightmares about being strangled.
His earlier victim, who he raped in a bedsit in 2005 before punching to the floor, had reported the rape to police but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no prospect of conviction.
When she heard he had been arrested for another rape she came forward and Hopkins was found guilty of her rape at trial last month.
She said: “I felt very let down by the CPS as he should have been convicted years ago. He got away with what he did to me years ago and he subjected another girl to rape and she will probably never been the same again.”
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones jailed Hopkins for life and told him he must serve a minimum of nine years before he can apply for parole.
Claire Lindley, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “This victim’s case was initially reviewed in 2009.
“The lawyer carefully considered the evidence in line with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and decided that there was not a realistic prospect of a conviction.
“In 2013, Shaun Hopkins was charged with another offence of rape. This victim then asked for her case to be looked at again.
“It was reviewed by a senior lawyer in accordance with the latest CPS guidance on rape cases.
“It was decided to overturn the 2009 decision and authority was given to the police to charge Shaun Hopkins with the rape of this victim.
“In recent years, the CPS has significantly reorganised the way rape cases are dealt with.
“CPS Mersey-Cheshire has specially trained lawyers working alongside the police in dedicated units and has the highest rape conviction rate in the country.
“These specialist prosecutors are experienced in dealing with rape and sexual offence cases and have expert knowledge of both the psychological effects of rape on victims as well as the myths and stereotypes around rape that need to be dispelled.
“We hope the fact that Shaun Hopkins has now been sentenced to life imprisonment provides some form of relief to both his victims.”
Victims speak out
Hopkins’ first victim had reported the rape to police in 2005 but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no prospect of conviction.
She became pregnant as a result of the attack and said her daughter was as much his victim as she was, and was a “constant reminder” of what happened.
She said: “If I saw a group of males I couldn’t walk past them and felt anxious around them. Apart from this I did my best to get on with my life and move on from what had gone on.
“However, when I heard about Shaun getting arrested for rape on another person my case then got re-opened and, when it was, I constantly thought about it and became really anxious again.
“As the court case was coming up I had nightmares. It took me a long time to meet another man and trust him.
“I feel like only a life sentence would be good enough for me to be satisfied that justice has been done. My life completely fell apart and I am now going to have to rebuild a new life for me and my children. Now he is in prison I actually feel relieved that finally I have been heard and believed.
“I felt very let down by the CPS as he should have been convicted years ago. He got away with what he did to me years ago and he subjected another girl to rape and she will probably never been the same again.”
The victim of the Allerton attack said: “On the night it happened I seriously thought I was going to die.
“I had accepted what he was doing to me but I just didn’t want him to kill me. When I was fighting back I just remember being so scared and upset that my mum would find out that I had been killed.
“Once the police became involved it was horrible having to go over it again and again, answering questions. I don’t blame the police for this. I understand they have a job to do. I blame him. I felt embarrassed and ashamed about talking about what happened to me. I had to stay awake all night in the hospital and the next day at the clinic being examined. After being violated so much, having to go through an examination was the worst thing ever.
“Once I came home I just wanted to sleep as I was so exhausted. But I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t really sleep properly for about a month afterwards. When I did manage to I became scared to close my eyes because I did not want to remember the night. Occasionally I have nightmares about that night. Being choked, that was the worst part.
“I just felt so low after what happened to me, I couldn’t even get out of bed. I lacked the motivation to do anything. I didn’t even want to talk to my family or friends. My relationship with my boyfriend changed. What happened to me on that night changed my personality towards men, including my boyfriend.
“Before this happened I was independent, adventurous, always wanting to go and try new things. Now I don’t want to do anything. For a long time I did not want to leave the house. A week before it happened I’d had an interview for a bar job. I was so excited at the prospect of working to save for a year abroad and also excited for what the future could hold. I couldn’t take the job and had to cancel other interviews. I watch friends getting on with university and the social life that comes with it and I wonder: why did it happen to me?
“I worry about ever being able to trust anyone ever again. I find it really disturbing that he could do what he did to me, a young girl. It was disgusting and horrific. How am I meant to learn to trust anybody again?
“Not a day goes by when I do not think about what happened to me on that night. It is something that will remain with me forever.”