A 'VILE' and 'cowardly' rapist who lured a woman into his flat as she walked to work by pretending his young son was hurt has been jailed.

Luke Wickham, 24, spotted the woman from the window of his West Bar Street flat at approximately 6.30am on July 17 this year after a night of taking cocaine and watching porn, an Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.

Prosecutor Abigail Husbands said, once inside, the 27-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, quickly realised there was no child and when she tried to flee a knife was held to her throat by Wickham who locked the door to the Banbury flat and raped her.

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Ms Husbands added he then made her clean herself in front of him 'to destroy evidence' and was only let go when forced to promise she would not go to the police.

Once free, the prosecutor said, the woman was able to flag down a car and was driven to a police station, with officers arresting Wickham just before 9am at his grandmother's house.

The woman, in an interview played to the court, said the attack had 'ruined' her life, explaining: "When I close my eyes it is like it's happening all over again."

She said sometimes she felt like 'ending it all' but focused on the pain it would cause her family.

The woman said it had taken away her 'dignity and confidence', that she was not sure she would be able to return to work as that was where she going when it happened and she had struggled to even leave the house.

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The court heard Wickham had a history of violence and sexual assault, just two months before the July attack trapping his girlfriend in a flat and hitting her in the face.

Judge Nigel Daly, sentencing Wickham to 10 years and six months in prison with an extended licence of four years for one count of rape, which he pleaded guilty to on November 13, described him as 'vile' and 'cowardly'.

He added: "You have effectively destroyed a young woman's life all to satisfy your sexual depravity."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Bryan Groves, of Force CID at Banbury police station, said the woman's bravery 'cannot be underestimated', adding: “I am relieved that she did not have to go through the ordeal of giving evidence at a trial.

"This sentence reflects the seriousness of this offence, and the risk that Wickham poses. He is clearly a danger to the public."