'Giant' rapist jailed for four years

A VIOLENT rapist who attacked his victim at knifepoint, slashing her back with a six inch serrated kitchen knife, has been jailed. Giant rugby player, Lawrence Cardwell, 20, who is six feet nine inches tall, also bit his victim during her terrifying ordea

A VIOLENT rapist who attacked his victim at knifepoint, slashing her back with a six inch serrated kitchen knife, has been jailed.

Giant rugby player, Lawrence Cardwell, 20, who is six feet nine inches tall, also bit his victim during her terrifying ordeal.

Father-of-one Cardwell, of Hasse Road, Soham, attacked the woman, who stands just five feet two inches tall, on September 25 last year.

The carving knife, which had Cardwell's blood on it as well as the victim's, was found at the scene.


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But Cardwell never admitted the attack and after he was arrested he sent 16 letters from his prison cell to his victim blaming her for what had happened.

Detective constable Paul Atkinson, from Ely police, said: "This was a brutal attack by Cardwell who used his physical presence as a weapon, as well as the knife, in order to rape his victim.

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"He marked the whole of her back. He sliced it. It was like she had paper cuts down it. He also bit her and raped her."

Cardwell, who had been convicted of two previous assaults on the woman only months earlier, had denied rape but was convicted after a four-day trial during which his victim had to face him again as she gave evidence.

On Friday, Cambridge Crown Court Judge Howarth sentenced him to a minimum of four years in prison minus the 225 days he had already spent in custody.

Cardwell, who was a friend of Ely rapist 21-year-old Samuel Jennings and even shared a house with him at one time, came to Soham from Blackpool in Lancashire.

Detective constable Atkinson said: "He is just a bully. It seemed to me that he had a problem with women and a problem with authority.

"He lied throughout. He was quite happy to admit that he had assaulted this woman but he never admitted to the rape.

"His victim is strong, she is not a shrinking violet and she is getting on with her life."

Pic cap: Det Constable Paul Atkinson with the six-inch knife that Cardwell used on his victim.

Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

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