September 2019

Brute forced his way into woman’s home and raped her after being bailed for earlier sex attacks

A brutal rapist who forced his way into a woman’s home and attacked her was caught after neighbours heard her blood-curdling screams.

Hilario Mendonca turned up at the victim’s home in the dead of night and subjected her to a horrific ordeal – just days after being released on police bail for previous sex attacks on her after pleading his innocence.

The dangerous 30-year-old denied several counts of rape but was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court and he has now been jailed for 20 years.

The court heard it was in early January that the woman told police about previous sex attacks by Mendonca and he was arrested but denied any wrongdoing.

He was released on bail with conditions not to contact her or to go to her home but she was left living in fear.

A few weeks later, her worst nightmares came true as she lay in bed and heard the sound of banging at her back door.

Paul Currer, prosecuting, said: “She was gripped by terror.

“On realising it was the defendant who had come to her house, she tried to escape but had to get her phone from the kitchen and when she went in the kitchen, he saw her and knew she was on the premises.

“The defendant saw her go to the front door and ran round from the back lane to the front street.

“As she left her front door, she was confronted by him and he prevented her from leaving and pushed her back inside the house.

“She was screaming at him to leave her alone but he grabbed her by the head and pushed her into the house, up the stairs and towards the bedroom.”

Mendonca, who locked her in her own home, told her he wanted to have sex and removed his trousers and started to attack her.

“She was completely terrified by the circumstances she found herself in and was screaming loudly for help,” Mr Currer said.

“Neighbours heard her blood curdling screams and they rang the police as a result.”

Police responded and body worn footage showed the victim in a state which a judge said was “terrible to watch”.

Mr Currer said: “The Crown say this shows her state of sheer terror as a result of the acts perpetrated upon her by the defendant.”

Mendonca, who was naked in her bed, was arrested and denied any wrongdoing.

The woman said in a victim impact statement read to the court she felt she had been “violated” in an “abhorrent” way.

She said after after he was bailed, she was left “living in fear” and “constantly looking over my shoulder in fear of seeing him”.

She added: “When the final incident took place and he broke his bail conditions, all my fears came true.”

The woman added that she hoped, during his time in prison, Mendonca will accept responsibility for the damage he has done and that he will “never again perpetrate such a hateful crime”.

Mendonca, of Raby Street, Byker, was found guilty of seven counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

Judge Sarah Mallett branded him dangerous as she jailed him for 20 years, with a further six years on an extended licence.

He will also be on the sex offenders register indefinitely and was made subject to a restraining order.

The judge said Mendonca lacks remorse and added: “The pre-sentence report concludes, as do I, that you present a high risk of causing serious harm to (the victim).

“I’ve come to the conclusion you are dangerous.”

Nick Cartmell, defending, said Mendonca still denies any wrongdoing, adding: “He has not been able to throw off the shroud of denial that has blighted the matter throughout.”

Mr Cartmell added that Mendonca had been drinking and taking drugs at the time, was naive and immature and had acted out of character.

After the case, Detective Constable John Bentley said: “Mendonca has shown no remorse for what he has done and made this victim suffer the further trauma of enduring a trial.

“Thankfully the jury have seen this man for the danger he is to women and the judge has reflected that in the sentencing today.

“It will never be enough for the victim to recover from all of this but I hope it is a small step in being able to move on with her life.”