A woman who was raped and strangled in a Liverpool park feared she would never see her kids again.

Tadas Trakselis strangled the sex worker unconscious then raped her and stole the money he paid her.

The victim feared she was going to die and never see her children again before she passed out.

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Liverpool Crown Court heard the 25-year-old had punched and beat her after he couldn't get an erection.

Then when she came to and saw him walking off, he mockingly said: "There's dangerous people out there."

The victim was working on Sheil Road, near Newsham Park in Anfield, late on August 22 last year.

Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, said: "She was approached by the defendant, who asked her how much it would be for oral sex. They agreed a price, he gave her £30 and they made their way to some bushes in Newsham Park."

Ms Snowdon said the woman, in her 40s, provided a condom for Trakselis but "he was unable to get an erection".

The victim described drunken Trakselis as being "a bit off", which made her feel uncomfortable, which she told him.

Ms Snowdon said: "It was at that point he grabbed hold of her by the throat and he pushed her to the ground.

"She described how she fought back, though she knew that she shouldn't fight back.

"She then described passing out and waking up, coming to, with the defendant throttling her."

The court heard he told her to "hush" and kept strangling her.

Ms Snowdon said: "At that point she thought she was going to die and she passed out again."

When the victim came around, she found her lower clothing had been pulled down and the money taken from her pocket.

She then saw Trakselis walking off, who said: "There's dangerous people out there."

Ms Snowdon said the victim called a male friend and told him she "had the s*** kicked out of her".

He came to the scene, called the emergency services and took photos of her injuries, which included multiple grazes and bruising to her neck, chest, mouth, jaw, back, shoulders, hips, pelvis and genital area.

A doctor said the injuries to her neck were consistent with strangulation and DNA evidence on her identified Trakselis, whose phone was found nearby by the woman's friend.

Trakselis, of Townsend Lane, Tuebrook, gave a no comment interview but later admitted rape, assault causing actual bodily harm and theft.

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He has one conviction in the UK for theft from a car in 2018 and was previously jailed for six years for assault in Lithuania.

The woman said she had suffered violence from men in the past but what happened that night was "something else".

Ms Snowdon said: "In her words she thought she was going to die, she was thinking about her children in that moment and thinking she wouldn't see them again and thinking who could tell them the reason and how they would take it."

The woman who felt "numb and violated", is now reluctant to go out at night and has suffered nightmares.

Ms Snowdon said: "She indicates she will survive as she always has done, but doesn't wish for any other woman to go through what she went through."

Jeremy Hawthorne, defending, said Trakselis' guilty pleas, giving him 25% credit off his sentence, were "pretty much his sole mitigation".

He said: "He's been in the UK for about five years. He's a Lithuanian as the court knows by origin. While he's been here he's been involved in factory and building work, done a little bit of charity work.

"He's someone who had made what, up until now, was a constructive use of the right to come and work in Britain."

Mr Hawthorne said friends of Trakselis sitting in the public gallery had provided a letter in which they said the attack was inconsistent with the man they knew.

However, he said: "It does not disguise the fact this was a terrible offence."

Judge David Aubrey, QC, told Trakselis: "You became agitated and subsequently extremely violent firstly in consequence of the fact that you were unable to obtain an erection.

"What you then subsequently did was grab her by the throat and push her violently to the ground.

"It's quite apparent you began to throttle her and continued to strangle her after you had told her to be quiet.

"When she was endeavouring to fight back, she lost consciousness."

He said a doctor found the woman's injuries were consistent with her being "beaten, punched and strangled".

Judge Aubrey said: "It was during the period of unconsciousness that she was raped."

He referred to the victim being "particularly vulnerable", the "extreme nature" of the attack and the "attitude to sex workers" displayed by Trakselis in a pre-sentence report as he concluded the rapist was "dangerous", as defined in law.

Pictured is Liverpool Crown Court

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The judge told him that after the rape, "you further humiliated her by stealing some money from her".

He said: "It's to the victim's credit that she had the courage to come forward in order to make the complaint that she has."

Judge Aubrey jailed Trakselis for nine years, with an extended three years on licence.

This type of sentence means Trakselis must serve at least two thirds of the custodial term - six years - behind bars.

He will only be released before the end of the nine years if the Parole Board no longer considers him to be a risk.

Judge Aubrey told Trakselis to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan from Merseyside Police's Unity team, the specialist rape and serious assault unit, said: "This was an utterly despicable attack and we welcome that Trakselis is now behind bars.

"While no sentence can repair the pain and suffering Trakselis has caused to his victim, I hope that he will reflect on his disgraceful actions while serving this significant jail time.

"I would like to commend the victim for the incredible bravery and courage she has shown in coming forward to report the crime, and for her strength throughout the investigation.

"I hope that this sentence today will reassure anyone who has suffered a sexual offence that, if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will deal with you sensitively and make sure that your report is properly and thoroughly investigated.

"Specialist police officers from our Unity team work side-by-side with a number of partners including Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and the Red Umbrella Project. These organisations work with victims from the moment the police make the referral through to the court case and beyond."

Anyone with information or wants to report a sexual offence is asked to call 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers or you can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Support for victims is also available through the registered charity the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801. In an emergency, always call 999.

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