A serial burglar from Ilfracombe has been found guilty of raping a young mother.

Ross Wyborn broke into the victim's home and was creeping around it looking for something to steal when she heard a noise on the landing and got out of the bath to investigate.

She came out of her bathroom and came face to face with the intruder, who ordered her to perform a sex act before groping her and raping her again.

The noise of his attack woke up her young daughter who came out of a bedroom but was forcibly pushed back inside by Wyborn.

The disturbance seemed to have calmed Wyborn down because he broke off the sex attack and fled.

Wyborn, aged 25, of Fore Street, Ilfracombe, denied but was found guilty of two counts of rape, assault by penetration, and a charge of assault by battery of the child.

He has nine previous convictions for burglary and normally breaks into properties which he believes are empty or where he thinks the owners are asleep.

He also has a conviction for under age sex and had been released from a three-and-a-half year sentence just a month before he carried out the rape in May last year.

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. He claimed he had never been to the house when he was first arrested, then claimed he had met the victim in a pub and paid her for sex.

His final version, which he told to a jury at Exeter Crown Court, is that he had known the woman for three years and had been round to her house for consensual sex twice before doing so again on the night of the rape.

He tried to besmirch her character by claiming she had snorted cocaine and smoked cannabis with him before initiating oral sex on her sofa.

The jury were played a recording of her 999 call to the police which showed she was terrified, sobbing and hysterical and had no idea of the identity of her attacker.

Judge Timothy Rose adjourned his sentence so the probation service can assess whether he should be classified as a dangerous offender.

He told him: "You have been convicted of exceptionally serious offences and will be facing a very significant prison sentence.

"You need to understand the evidence against you was utterly overwhelming and your defence was in many respects utterly ridiculous."

During a five day trial, Piers Norsworthy, prosecuting, said the victim was in the bath at her home when she heard a noise from downstairs.

At first she thought it was her cat coming or going through a window but then she heard more noise and got out of the bath to investigate, holding a towel in front of her.

She was confronted by a man outside the room who stared at her and said nothing at first and did not reply when she asked who he was and what he was doing there.

He carried out the sex attack before her daughter, who was woken by the disturbance, came out of her room.

He said during the course of the assault Wyborn raped the woman again and then appeared to realise he had left the front door open. He stopped the attack and said 'don't tell anyone' before leaving.

The woman rang the police immediately and gave a full description of Wyborn.

She also told a friend about what happened and her description was so good that the friend spotted a picture of Wyborn on Facebook and sent it to her to ask if it was the man.

Wyborn claimed the woman contacted him on Snapchat and invited him round to share drugs and have sex.

He could not explain why the woman's phone did not have a Snapchat app on it. He gave police a false PIN number for his own phone, so detectives were unable to examine it. He refused to give the number when asked again in court.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on February 20.

DC Donna Money from Barnstaple CID said: "We welcome the verdict today following what was a horrific and abhorrent attack in the victim's home.

"I would like to praise the victim's courage in coming forward and giving evidence.

"Mr Wyborn is a dangerous sexual predator and this verdict today, means that the community will be a safer place as a result.

"I would like to reassure the public that this type of incident is extremely rare and I hope that this verdict goes to show that as a police force, we will take allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and help ensure that justice is done."