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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 18:08 GMT
Two life terms for Polish rapist
Jakub Tomczak
Jakub Tomczak said he did not know what happened to the woman
A Polish hotel night porter has been given two life sentences for raping and beating a 48-year-old woman in Devon.

Jakub Tomczak, 24, who lived in Monks Road, Exeter, had denied raping and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to his victim.

The jury at Exeter Crown Court was told Tomczak attacked his victim and "left her for dead", naked and unconscious, under a van in Exeter in July 2006.

The victim sustained serious injuries and is likely to be left disabled.

Tomczak was given a life sentence for each count, to run concurrently, and told he must serve a minimum of nine years.

During the trial, the jury was told Tomczak returned to Poznan in Poland, where he voluntarily gave a DNA sample at the request of UK police.

Memory loss

It matched DNA taken from semen found on the victim and he was brought back to the UK under a European arrest warrant.

Tomczak told the court in his evidence: "I do not know the truth of what happened to her."

He said that, after separating from his friends in the city centre after a night out, he went to the hotel where he worked, for cigarettes, then on to his home.

The victim was found unconscious in Redlands Close in the Whipton area of Exeter on 22 July 2006.

The court heard her injuries were so severe, she had no memory of what had happened.

A majority verdict was accepted by Judge Graham Cottle, who had told the jury there was "no room for feelings of emotion, prejudice or sympathy" in reaching their verdict.

Tomczak's victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and is now a wheelchair user, watched from the back of the court as he was sentenced following the two-week trial.

Members of the victim's family said they were "delighted" at the verdict.

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