A RAPIST has been doubly punished after he was jailed and told he may have caught HIV from his victim.

Richard Thomas collapsed when police informed him about his victim’s medical status and is still waiting to hear if he has contracted the virus.

Thomas, aged 27, knew the woman and was aware that she has another illness but had not known about the HIV and was shocked when he was told and asked to be taken to hospital, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

He had let himself into her Leigh home, uninvited, in the middle of the night and she awoke to find him raping her. “She froze and no words were exchanged,” said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

“He was arrested and said he had been drinking heavily, taken cocaine and ecstasy and could not recall the incident,” he added.

His barrister, Virginia Hayton, said he still cannot recall the attack but when told about it he said that the woman “would not lie, she tells the truth. If she says I have done it, I have done it.”

Jailing him for five years and four months Judge Mark Brown said that he had committed ”this dreadful offence” while she lay asleep, having taken a sleeping tablet, and left her distressed and anxious. He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Thomas, of Sandringham Drive, Leigh, pleaded guilty to raping the woman on July 20 this year.

Miss Hayton said that Thomas, who has previous convictions but none for sexual offences, “is remorseful and cannot understand why he did it and it is troubling him”.

She said that he started using cannabis at the age of nine, drinking heavily at 11, was addicted to ecstasy and cocaine at 13 and was put in care the following year.