REVEALED: Hartlepool gangland attack target is a violent rapist

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A “BUSINESSMAN” at the centre of a botched gangland-style attack can today be revealed as a violent rapist who is serving a seven-year stretch for a vicious attack.

Two town men – Stephen Stead and Nigel Harker –were caged for a more than 10 years for firearms offences after police foiled an attempt to target Malcolm Mayes at his home on the plush Bishop Cuthbert estate.

Police had been watching Mayes’ home in July 2012 when a man on a motorbike pulled up outside the property armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

The motorcyclist fled the scene after spotting the officers, and the weapon was eventually dumped in Middlesbrough without being used before Stead and Harker were snared as they tried to find it in wasteland.

Teesside Crown Court heard Mayes had been targeted in July 2012 just days after being beaten up after being lured to a bogus business meeting.

But the Mail can reveal that just five months after the failed attempt to “intimidate” him with the gun, Mayes – an aerial fitter by trade – carried out a sickening New Year’s Day attack in which he locked his victim in his home before raping her and leaving her covered in bitemarks and bruises.

When Mayes was sentenced in July this year prosecutor Deborah Sherwin said the probation service assessed him as “posing a high risk of causing serious harm in the future”.

As a result of his conviction on July 8 this year, Mayes’ name will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life.

Police were unable to comment on a possible link between the attempted attack on Mayes and his offence.

After carrying out the sickening attack, the 36-year-old calmly called a taxi to his home in Silverbirch Road to allow his victim to leave.

The taxi driver gave evidence in court saying the victim looked upset with mascara running down her face and her clothes were dishevelled.

She cried during the whole journey home and spent the next day in a daze before she reported the attack to the police.

Mayes insisted they had consensual sex and stood trial in July this year, but was found guilty of rape.

Judge George Moorhouse, who jailed him for seven years, said: “You threatened her. She kept saying no to your advances and then you started to bite her neck and ears. She was medically examined and she suffered various injuries.

“This is a very serious offence with various aggravating features.

“Taking all matters into account I think the appropriate sentence is one of seven years imprisonment.”