Man found guilty of rape at Hatfield Heath hotel

Crime / Fri 6th Aug 2021 at 07:01am

SPECIALIST officers have secured justice for a woman who was raped by a man in a hotel room.

Paul Ballard was found guilty on all counts at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 30 July after denying rape, attempted rape, assault, criminal damage and threats to kill.

Ballard, of Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, launched his attack shortly after 5am on September 19, 2020 in a hotel in Hatfield Heath.

During the incident, the 39-year-old told the victim: “Your life is ending. You’re dying tonight.”

After the ordeal, the victim bravely fled the room and found a member of hotel staff, who then called the police.

Police attended and safeguarded the woman, who has been supported throughout the last 11 months by specialist officers.

Ballard had claimed to have had consensual sex with the woman and denied he had threatened her.

But the jury took just two hours to convict him on all counts and he will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court from 6 September.

Detective Constable Dan Lambert, who led the investigation, said: “Ballard has never taken responsibility for his actions – indeed he continued to deny them throughout the trial.

“It is telling that the jury arrived at a verdict within two hours.

“I hope this provides some comfort to his victim, who he subjected to a terrifying ordeal that night in September last year.”

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