'Extraordinarily cruel': Islington caretaker raped woman at knifepoint

Former Islington Council caretaker Jake Corbett, who has been jailed for rape

Former Islington Council caretaker Jake Corbett, who has been jailed for rape - Credit: Met Police

A former Islington Council caretaker has been jailed for 20 years for raping a woman at knifepoint, after breaking into her home.

Corbett, 26, of Rotherfield Street, East Canonbury, pleaded guilty in November to four counts of rape and stealing a mobile phone. 

At a sentencing hearing today, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the victim had "never felt so frightened in all her life" when Corbett broke into her house on October 8 last year.

Prosecutor Grace Yu-Ong described how she "woke up suddenly to see him kneeling down on the floor and looking over her in bed".

The victim's young daughter was present in the property at the time of the attack.

Following the attack, Corbett stole a mobile phone and a set of keys to the house, and as he was leaving he was said to have threatened the victim on the staircase with the knife, telling her: "If you say anything I'll come back. I'll hurt you. I'll kill you."

In a police interview, Corbett claimed he was not at the scene, however a forensic examination confirmed his fingerprints at the address. 

In a statement, the victim described how her own life and her  family's lives have been turned upside down since the attack.

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She said talking about what happened makes her whole body shake.

"I have never felt fear like it and I will never forget it," she said, adding: "It's affected my relationships. I don't want to go out. I find it hard to trust people. I find myself questioning people's motives."

Addressing Corbett, Judge Martyn Zeidman QC, said: "I am hoping that you can see for yourself that you have behaved in an extraordinarily cruel manner, and you did so knowing that children were present.

"That's quite something.

"The victim has told us she never felt so frightened in her life, and the reality is whatever sentence I impose upon you, you have imposed a worse sentence on the family of the victim."

Cheers could be heard from the public gallery as Corbett sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.

Judge Zeidman continued: This is not a single act of rape. It is four rapes, each one with its own pain and discomfort.

"One can never put the clock back. 

"For me the overwhelming aggravating feature is this was done at a time when the defendant knew there were children on the premises. 

"Their lives have been greatly affected by what the defendant has done." 

The judge explained that he had read several character witnesses from Corbett's family and acquaintances, which testified to his previous good character – but had decided the case was so "unbelievably bad" that it deserved such a long sentence. 

"They say it's out of character and he's a good natured caring person," he said.

"One witness says 'I don't believe he's a threat to society'. Another says: 'I don't believe he's capable of it'.

"But the fact is that he is and we know he is."

Corbett was also given a lifelong restraining order and a 25 year sexual harm prevention order, which will apply when he is released from prison.

Detective Constable Max Orange, the investigating officer, said: "Corbett is a dangerous offender who carried out an awful attack on a defenceless woman. I am pleased our investigation has resulted in him being taken off the streets and that he will no longer pose a risk to other women.

"I would like to praise the bravery of the victim in this case who continues to deal with the impact of what happened to her and I hope today's significant sentence does allow her some closure."