A rapist from Swindon who attempted to change his guilty plea has been jailed.

Ricky Sparks, of Buckhurst Crescent in Walcot, admitted to raping his ex-partner at her home address but then claimed that his counsel had pressured him into pleading guilty.

The 43-year-old committed the crime on December 28, 2021 and was charged with rape in December 2022 before entering his plea in early 2023.

Before the next hearing was held, Sparks then tried to persuade the courts to ignore his previous plea so that he could enter a not guilty plea instead.

A hearing on May 3, 2024, dismissed the defendant’s application for his guilty plea to be withdrawn.

Sparks appeared at Swindon Crown Court on July 5 for sentencing.

He has been jailed for four years and seven months, put on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely, given a restraining order that prevents him from contacting his victim, and ordered to pay £190 to fund victim services.

In a statement read aloud to the court, his victim said: "I am so grateful to Wiltshire Police, in particular Detective Constable Alex Doughty and the Crown Prosecution Service, for believing in me and supporting me.

"The relief I felt when his guilty plea wasn’t overturned was immeasurable.

"I finally have my life back. I have survived and I can move on to becoming me again."

Detective Constable Alex Doughty said: “Mr Sparks has done everything he could in this case to make everyone else out to be a liar and to make himself come out on top.

“I am glad to see him finally be convicted as a rapist and receive a custodial sentence.

"His victim has been so incredibly brave throughout this police investigation and I wholeheartedly commend her for coming forward to report such a personal and horrific crime. I hope she inspires other victims to come forward and report to the police.

"Please remember there is support available, including from the police. You are not alone.”

Victims of rape or sexual assault can contact police on 101, or call 999 in an emergency.

Victims who would rather not speak to an officer over the phone can report what happened online confidentially and securely via www.wiltshire.police.uk or speak to an officer at a police station in a safe environment.