Jailed: 10 years for Longfleet Road rapist Thomas Coutts, who gagged and handcuffed victim

Jailed: 10 years for rapist who gagged and handcuffed victim

The scene of the attack in Longfleet Road

Jailed: 10 years for rapist who gagged and handcuffed victim

First published in News
Last updated

A RAPIST has been jailed for 10 years after dragging a woman into bushes to gag and handcuff her before attacking her at knifepoint.

Thomas Andrew Coutts grabbed his 20-year-old victim as she walked home listening to music on her headphones and put his hand over her mouth.

She first thought she was going to be mugged before he cut her clothes off during a “terrifying” ordeal in which she begged him not to kill her.

Coutts, a cleaner who had been living in Poole with his girlfriend and young son before the attack, was sent to prison after admitting rape and sexual assault.

The court was told he had carried out the attack after his girlfriend told him she wanted to end their relationship.

Carolyn Branford-Wood, prosecuting, told Bournemouth Crown Court that the woman went out to the garage on Longfleet Road in Poole to buy food at around 1am on August 20 last year, after work.

Miss Branford-Wood read a statement made by the victim, saying she “immediately started screaming and I was pulled to the ground and the man kept telling me to be quiet”

Coutts, now 21, told her he was protecting her from two men who were following her but dragged her behind some bushes before shoving a rag into her mouth and handcuffing her, the court heard.

Miss Branford-Wood said he pulled out a kitchen knife and held it to her face before using it to cut off her clothes and underwear.

“She made a determined decision not to look at him in the face so that by not being able to recognise him she hoped that would safeguard her in some way,” she said.

“She said 'I'm not going to make any noise just please don't kill me I'm not going to recognise you”

Coutts, who had moved back to Main Street, Peterborough, before being arrested, kissed her and held her little finger with his as he said he was making a“pinky promise” not to hurt her, she added.

Coutts fled and his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made it onto Longfleet Road to get help.

Judge John Harrow told Thomas Andrew Coutts he was handing him an extended sentence as he is “dangerous”.

“It would seem that after your girlfriend told you she wanted to end your relationship you decided to eke your revenge out on an unfortunate young woman,” the judge said.

“You went out at night armed with a knife and handcuffs and selected your victim, a clearly vulnerable young woman who was oblivious to any danger.”

Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence and added five years onto the period he must spend on licence after being released The judge said the victim had lost her job and flat and is unable to go out alone or trust anyone, particularly men, after the attack.

He said: “This must have been a terrifying and almost indescribable experience for her.

“I've read what your girlfriend said about you and you had a rough and controlling sexual nature towards her,” the judge added.

Following the sentence, Carolyn Branford-Wood, Crown Advocate for CPS Wessex, said: “This young woman has clearly been the victim of a terrifying ordeal. She is to be commended not only for having the courage to report this crime but also in supporting a prosecution.

“We would like to thank all the other witnesses in this case in particular the two members of the public who contacted the police. Their evidence, together with the statement of the victim, has enabled the prosecution to build a strong case to put before the court. As a result, Coutts changed his pleas to guilty on the first day of his trial.

“We hope that this conviction and sentence will bring some closure to the victim at least insofar as the Criminal Justice process is concerned and will enable her to move on with her life.”

Comments (19)

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10:25am Tue 26 Feb 13

really?? seriously?? says...

Poor woman, hope she can get on with some kind of normality. What a scum bag of a so called man, why say 10 years and then say he may only serve 2/3rds of the sentence?? RUBBISH.
Poor woman, hope she can get on with some kind of normality. What a scum bag of a so called man, why say 10 years and then say he may only serve 2/3rds of the sentence?? RUBBISH. really?? seriously??
  • Score: 0

10:33am Tue 26 Feb 13

skydriver says...

really?? seriously?? wrote:
Poor woman, hope she can get on with some kind of normality. What a scum bag of a so called man, why say 10 years and then say he may only serve 2/3rds of the sentence?? RUBBISH.
Quite right 10 years should mean 10 years, soft judge bet if it was his family the sentence would have been a bit stiffer. Having said that I know there are guidelines so what we really need to do it get this government to make some serious changes to the justice system. Although can you emagine soft touch Ms May doing anything to rock the boat. I rest my case.
[quote][p][bold]really?? seriously??[/bold] wrote: Poor woman, hope she can get on with some kind of normality. What a scum bag of a so called man, why say 10 years and then say he may only serve 2/3rds of the sentence?? RUBBISH.[/p][/quote]Quite right 10 years should mean 10 years, soft judge bet if it was his family the sentence would have been a bit stiffer. Having said that I know there are guidelines so what we really need to do it get this government to make some serious changes to the justice system. Although can you emagine soft touch Ms May doing anything to rock the boat. I rest my case. skydriver
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Tue 26 Feb 13

High Treason says...

Hang him or at the least castrate him.
Hang him or at the least castrate him. High Treason
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Clunge says...

It seems lenient and if the resources were there sentences should be tougher. This animal did the one decent thing left to him and pleaded guilty, sparing the victim another ordeal. Therefore he would have been given a reduction for that, though arguably by doing it on the day of the trial, he deserves far less a reduction. If he doesn't take part in rehabilitation schemes in prison then he will serve 10 years, if he does, he will be out sooner, but under strict supervision.
The knee jerk is to say he should never get out, the danger of that though is offenders may as well kill the victim if the sanction is the same.
The fact is prison costs £45,000 per year per prisoner, more for some categories of prisoners. So society has a choice. Make prison tougher and cheaper to increase sentences for the same costs, or we all pay a lot more in tax to keep them banged up for longer.
The life tariff IMO should increase to 40 years from 25, or whole life for some crimes, then increase other offences accordingly. Anyway, he might face some alternative justice inside.
It seems lenient and if the resources were there sentences should be tougher. This animal did the one decent thing left to him and pleaded guilty, sparing the victim another ordeal. Therefore he would have been given a reduction for that, though arguably by doing it on the day of the trial, he deserves far less a reduction. If he doesn't take part in rehabilitation schemes in prison then he will serve 10 years, if he does, he will be out sooner, but under strict supervision. The knee jerk is to say he should never get out, the danger of that though is offenders may as well kill the victim if the sanction is the same. The fact is prison costs £45,000 per year per prisoner, more for some categories of prisoners. So society has a choice. Make prison tougher and cheaper to increase sentences for the same costs, or we all pay a lot more in tax to keep them banged up for longer. The life tariff IMO should increase to 40 years from 25, or whole life for some crimes, then increase other offences accordingly. Anyway, he might face some alternative justice inside. Clunge
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Huey says...

In cases like this, where guilt is evident, the rapist should be handed over to the people of the town who could decide on whatever punishment they saw fit.
In cases like this, where guilt is evident, the rapist should be handed over to the people of the town who could decide on whatever punishment they saw fit. Huey
  • Score: 0

2:46pm Tue 26 Feb 13

O'Reilly says...

He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion. O'Reilly
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Arthur Maureen says...

Scum, pure and simple.
Scum, pure and simple. Arthur Maureen
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Tue 26 Feb 13

susi.m says...

O'Reilly wrote:
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
Thats what is so disgusting about our legal system.
That poor girl will probably take a lifetime to get over this.
[quote][p][bold]O'Reilly[/bold] wrote: He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.[/p][/quote]Thats what is so disgusting about our legal system. That poor girl will probably take a lifetime to get over this. susi.m
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Tue 26 Feb 13

ASM says...

Clunge wrote:
It seems lenient and if the resources were there sentences should be tougher. This animal did the one decent thing left to him and pleaded guilty, sparing the victim another ordeal. Therefore he would have been given a reduction for that, though arguably by doing it on the day of the trial, he deserves far less a reduction. If he doesn't take part in rehabilitation schemes in prison then he will serve 10 years, if he does, he will be out sooner, but under strict supervision.
The knee jerk is to say he should never get out, the danger of that though is offenders may as well kill the victim if the sanction is the same.
The fact is prison costs £45,000 per year per prisoner, more for some categories of prisoners. So society has a choice. Make prison tougher and cheaper to increase sentences for the same costs, or we all pay a lot more in tax to keep them banged up for longer.
The life tariff IMO should increase to 40 years from 25, or whole life for some crimes, then increase other offences accordingly. Anyway, he might face some alternative justice inside.
why is prison so expensive? scum should be locked in a small cell and fed 2 small meals a day. they shouldn't be allowed gyms, sports, cinemas and playstations. should cost about 3,000 a year and they should pay for it
[quote][p][bold]Clunge[/bold] wrote: It seems lenient and if the resources were there sentences should be tougher. This animal did the one decent thing left to him and pleaded guilty, sparing the victim another ordeal. Therefore he would have been given a reduction for that, though arguably by doing it on the day of the trial, he deserves far less a reduction. If he doesn't take part in rehabilitation schemes in prison then he will serve 10 years, if he does, he will be out sooner, but under strict supervision. The knee jerk is to say he should never get out, the danger of that though is offenders may as well kill the victim if the sanction is the same. The fact is prison costs £45,000 per year per prisoner, more for some categories of prisoners. So society has a choice. Make prison tougher and cheaper to increase sentences for the same costs, or we all pay a lot more in tax to keep them banged up for longer. The life tariff IMO should increase to 40 years from 25, or whole life for some crimes, then increase other offences accordingly. Anyway, he might face some alternative justice inside.[/p][/quote]why is prison so expensive? scum should be locked in a small cell and fed 2 small meals a day. they shouldn't be allowed gyms, sports, cinemas and playstations. should cost about 3,000 a year and they should pay for it ASM
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Bob49 says...

O'Reilly wrote:
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence "

Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you
[quote][p][bold]O'Reilly[/bold] wrote: He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.[/p][/quote]"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence " Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you Bob49
  • Score: 0

12:30am Wed 27 Feb 13

West Howe Sean says...

O'Reilly wrote:
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
For those of you who profess to believe in God, don't forget that Saint Paul who allegedly was responsible for most of the New Testament was a mass murderer before his conversion on the road to Damascus.

Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you like but on the matter of the sentence surely the most important thing is meaningful rehabilitation.

It is pointless putting him behind bars for even 50 years if he comes out and does the same thing again.

I would not want any murderer or rapist to be set free if they did not receive meaningful rehabilitation and I mean through and comprehensive rehabilitation.
[quote][p][bold]O'Reilly[/bold] wrote: He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.[/p][/quote]For those of you who profess to believe in God, don't forget that Saint Paul who allegedly was responsible for most of the New Testament was a mass murderer before his conversion on the road to Damascus. Call me a bleeding heart liberal if you like but on the matter of the sentence surely the most important thing is meaningful rehabilitation. It is pointless putting him behind bars for even 50 years if he comes out and does the same thing again. I would not want any murderer or rapist to be set free if they did not receive meaningful rehabilitation and I mean through and comprehensive rehabilitation. West Howe Sean
  • Score: 0

2:19am Wed 27 Feb 13

snapped says...

It's all about human rights and how prisoners can sue for them .......I say they should all lose there rights or say when it comes to anything as sick as this WHERE WAS the victims human rights when he done awful things to her ,,i think he should die along with every other weirdo out there ......
It's all about human rights and how prisoners can sue for them .......I say they should all lose there rights or say when it comes to anything as sick as this WHERE WAS the victims human rights when he done awful things to her ,,i think he should die along with every other weirdo out there ...... snapped
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Wed 27 Feb 13

large_cheese says...

High Treason wrote:
Hang him or at the least castrate him.
indeed!
[quote][p][bold]High Treason[/bold] wrote: Hang him or at the least castrate him.[/p][/quote]indeed! large_cheese
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Wed 27 Feb 13

keith milton says...

but politicians and judges get away with this and far worse,
they just investigate themselves and say we must learn from our mistakes.
they are above the law.
i'm not condoning this,i'm just saying.
one rule for them and another for the slaves.
but politicians and judges get away with this and far worse, they just investigate themselves and say we must learn from our mistakes. they are above the law. i'm not condoning this,i'm just saying. one rule for them and another for the slaves. keith milton
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Wed 27 Feb 13

guisselle says...

The rapist was dumped so he goes out
and does a knee jerk reaction, what a
retard! I hope the young woman gets
help to move on with her life.
The rapist was dumped so he goes out and does a knee jerk reaction, what a retard! I hope the young woman gets help to move on with her life. guisselle
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Wed 27 Feb 13

bigjohn says...

They should just cut off his b. . . . and give him to the father of the girl, 10 years is too soft for people like him.
They should just cut off his b. . . . and give him to the father of the girl, 10 years is too soft for people like him. bigjohn
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Ayles 10 says...

Bob49 wrote:
O'Reilly wrote:
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence "

Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you
I think that's a bit harsh Bob49. The previous
poster is probably correct, despite the fact he should be serving around 6 1/2 years of a 10 year sentence, he probably will be released before then to make room for more criminals. This sounds like a particularly violent and mindless assault. Reading between the lines, I think he deserves to be sectioned for a much longer period of time.
[quote][p][bold]Bob49[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Reilly[/bold] wrote: He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.[/p][/quote]"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence " Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you[/p][/quote]I think that's a bit harsh Bob49. The previous poster is probably correct, despite the fact he should be serving around 6 1/2 years of a 10 year sentence, he probably will be released before then to make room for more criminals. This sounds like a particularly violent and mindless assault. Reading between the lines, I think he deserves to be sectioned for a much longer period of time. Ayles 10
  • Score: 0

2:01am Thu 28 Feb 13

mpdor says...

this sentence totally shocks me, for what he did 10 years is ridiculous, this man is a danger to societya nd society needs protection from him for life
this sentence totally shocks me, for what he did 10 years is ridiculous, this man is a danger to societya nd society needs protection from him for life mpdor
  • Score: 0

10:59am Thu 28 Feb 13

rozmister says...

Ayles 10 wrote:
Bob49 wrote:
O'Reilly wrote:
He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.
"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence "

Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you
I think that's a bit harsh Bob49. The previous
poster is probably correct, despite the fact he should be serving around 6 1/2 years of a 10 year sentence, he probably will be released before then to make room for more criminals. This sounds like a particularly violent and mindless assault. Reading between the lines, I think he deserves to be sectioned for a much longer period of time.
He will only be released earlier than 6 1/2 years from the sentencing date if he has been held on remand in which case the period he spent on remand will be deducted from his overall sentence.

You cannot be released earlier the amount of set by the judge except in exceptional circumstances (ie. he had terminal cancer and would die in weeks anyway). The likelihood is he'll serve 6 1/2 years less the time he spent on remand (6 months) so he'll be out in 6 years.
[quote][p][bold]Ayles 10[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bob49[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]O'Reilly[/bold] wrote: He will probably be out in 5 years max. Earlier if he 'gets' religion.[/p][/quote]"Judge Harrow told Coutts he must serve two-thirds of his 10-year sentence " Perhaps a grown up could do the sums for you[/p][/quote]I think that's a bit harsh Bob49. The previous poster is probably correct, despite the fact he should be serving around 6 1/2 years of a 10 year sentence, he probably will be released before then to make room for more criminals. This sounds like a particularly violent and mindless assault. Reading between the lines, I think he deserves to be sectioned for a much longer period of time.[/p][/quote]He will only be released earlier than 6 1/2 years from the sentencing date if he has been held on remand in which case the period he spent on remand will be deducted from his overall sentence. You cannot be released earlier the amount of set by the judge except in exceptional circumstances (ie. he had terminal cancer and would die in weeks anyway). The likelihood is he'll serve 6 1/2 years less the time he spent on remand (6 months) so he'll be out in 6 years. rozmister
  • Score: 0

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