A FORMER kids TV presenter who told a woman "you're dying tonight" while raping her has been jailed.
Back in July Paul 'Des' Ballard was found guilty of raping a woman in a hotel room.
He also killed two people after losing control of his VW Golf and ploughing into cars while high on cannabis and cocaine.
The 39-year-old was found guilty of rape, attempted rape, assault, criminal damage, and threats to kill.
And today the former children's TV presenter, from Theydon Bois, Essex was jailed for ten years at Chelmsford Crown Court, reports the Mirror.
Detective Constable Dan Lambert who led the investigation said: "Today, Ballard has been sentenced to ten years in jail after subjecting the woman to a terrifying ordeal.
"Our priority throughout this investigation has been ensuring her welfare and securing justice for her. The strength she has shown has been remarkable throughout.
"As a force, we take crimes against women and girls extremely seriously and I very proud to have played a part in securing justice for Ballard’s victim and he will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars as a result.
"I want to again pay tribute to the bravery shown by the victim in this case. No one should ever have to go through the ordeal she has endured but I hope there is some comfort in the knowledge that her attacker is now behind bars for some time."
The court heard that Ballard attacked the woman in a hotel room in Hatfield Heath, Essex, in September 19 last year.
His terrified victim managed to escape the room and informed a member of staff about the attack who called the police.
Ballard denied raping and threatening the victim, claiming that they had consensual sex.
He had starred on GMTV's programme Diggit from 1998 to 2002 with Fearne Cotton, Craig Doyle, and Reggie Yates.
In February 2020, he was involved in a serious collision as he was driving between “88mph and 104mph” in a 30mph zone, while high on drugs, a court heard.
Eileen Haskell, 64, who was travelling in a Ford Kuga, was killed in the crash in Romford, east London.
The second victim, schoolteacher Richard Trezise, 48, was waiting at a bus stop with his wife and children when he was struck in the chest by the car and killed in the pile-up.
Eight cars were involved in the collision and at least seven people were treated in hospital.
Ballard admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving but denied two counts of causing death by driving while uninsured, which will not be pursued.
He was jailed for nine years and will be disqualified for seven once he is released from prison.
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, where you call 999 and press ‘55’ if you can’t safely speak.
- Always keep some money or a bank card on you, including change in case you need a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to move towards an exit if you are inside the house and get your phone in case you need to call for help.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other potential weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available every day from 10am-6pm or email [email protected]
SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected].
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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