Ilfracombe rapist has sentence increased by Court of Appeal

Ross Whyborn has been jailed for 10 years.

Ross Whyborn has been jailed for 10 years. - Credit: Contributed

A man from Ilfracombe who raped a young mother has had his prison sentence increased by five years.

Ross Wyborn was sentenced to 10 years’ in prison at Exeter Crown Court in February after he was found guilty of two counts of rape, assault by penetration, and assault by battery of a child.

Solicitor General Michael Ellis MP referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient, and on Friday (June 19), it was increased to 15 years, with a licence extension of five years.

The 25-year-old had been out of prison for less than six weeks when he broke into the victim’s house through an insecure door and started searching it.

The victim was in her bath when she heard a sound on her stairs and went out to investigate.

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She was holding a towel when she was confronted by Wyborn on the landing. He sexually assaulted her and forced her to have sex with him.

The noise of the assault woke her young daughter who came out of her bedroom to see her mother being attacked. Wyborn broke off the rape and threw the girl back into her room before slamming the door and carrying on.

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Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said: “Wyborn is a dangerous sexual predator and his actions will have a lasting impact on the victim and her family.

“The original sentence failed to take proper account of the seriousness of the offence, and I am pleased the Court has now seen fit to increase the prison term.”

Wyborn had been convicted by a jury following a five-day trial in January.

He was identified by DNA from the scene and by the victim, who found an image which he had posted of himself on Facebook.

He changed his story three times as he tried to lie himself out of trouble.

At the initial sentencing, Judge Timothy Rose said: “This was a truly terrifying experience for the victim. It is quite literally any woman’s worst nightmare, any person’s worst nightmare, to be alone at home and find a stranger outside the bathroom when they are in the bath.

“You made an uninvited entry into her home in a situation when she was particularly vulnerable and could not escape because of her responsibilities to her child.

“I have no doubt you must be dealt with as a dangerous offender.”

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