A RAPIST was given a reduced sentence after "excruciating" delays in getting the case to court.

A judge said the offender "should have been charged probably two years earlier than you were."

And his victim told the court she considered dropping the case because it took almost three years to come to trial.

The sentence was also reduced because coronavirus restrictions in prisons are said to be making sentences tougher with reduced social interaction and the likelihood of spending 23 hours a day locked in a cell.

Dennis Adkin, 49, of Cuthbury Gardens, Wimborne, was convicted of raping a woman in her own home after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

The court heard the offence was committed on November 13 2017 and reported on December 10.

Adkins was interviewed a day later but was not charged until January 2020.

Judge Robert Pawson said the delay affected both the victim and the rapist and said his sentence was reduced as a result.

He was jailed for three years and three months.

Judge Pawson suggested police and the Crown Prosecution Service review the way in which the case was handled.

And he added: "It is just dreadful. The victim had periods of wanting to drop the case because of the delay."

He described the delays as "excruciating" and added: "There is no proper explanation as to why that delay took place."

Jurors were told Adkin attacked his victim in her own home and she has since felt the need to move house.

In a victim impact statement the woman said: "The whole court process has made my anxiety levels go through the roof. It has affected my life massively.

"I felt very crushed. This is something that will stay with me for a very long time. I still wait up at night fighting and shouting in my sleep. I am constantly scared and feel vulnerable all the time."

Adkin was also handed a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim indefinitely. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

In a statement after the hearing, DS Jon Sainsbury, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Following a detailed and thorough investigation, I am pleased that we were able to charge Dennis Adkin with rape and bring him before the courts.

“This was a terrible incident for the victim and I would like to praise her for her courage in coming forward, supporting the investigation and giving evidence at the court case. She has been kept updated throughout by specially-trained officers. The case took a long time to come to court, but following a very thorough investigation the offender has been convicted.

“We will take all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and will do all we can to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

“I hope this case will encourage others who have been subjected to such terrible offences and help give them the strength to come forward.”

Detective Sergeant Jon Sainsbury, of Bournemouth CID, added: “I appreciate there have been delays preventing this case from getting to court sooner, including awaiting results of mobile phone examinations from third parties and a charging decision from the CPS, but we have a responsibility to ensure that we have collected all the available evidence in order to secure a conviction.”