Dean Edwards
Dean Edwards was convicted of rape at Cardiff Crown Court Police handout

A twisted pervert who threatened to set fire to a teenager's pet dog before hitting her in the head and raping her has been jailed for 12 years. Cardiff Crown Court heard how Dean Edwards, 39, covered his 'vulnerable' victim's mouth with his hand and held her head against a mirror.

The Cardiff resident also threatened to set the 19-year-old on fire before he raped her on 3 April this year. Edwards, from the Rumney area of the city had denied rape and actual bodily harm, but was found guilty by a jury after a trial.

The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, suffered injuries to her face and arms in the incident but was able to send a frantic text message to someone she knew – and they alerted police.

Judge Michael Fitton QC judged the woman to be 'vulnerable' and, according to Wales Online, told the defendant: "Your history makes it plain to me that you do present a risk of violence and now sexual violence to women. You still deny the offences and it is quite clear that you show no remorse. You are a person unwilling to accept real criticism of yourself or the need to reform your behaviour."

He continued: "What is of particular concern is that there is no significant diminution in your offending – in fact the seriousness of your offending is increasing."

It was started by the crown that Edwards was under the influence of drink and drugs at the time of the offences and that he had more than 20 previous convictions. According to Wales Online many of those were for offences of violence, with multiple assaults on women, and the rape was committed while he was on licence for robbery.

Defending Edwards Hugo Lodge said he had no previous convictions for sexual offences. He told the court: "There is another side to Dean Edwards. The women in his life have stood by him throughout the trial and again today."

Detective Constable Matthew Lindsey of Rumney CID, said after Edwards was sentanced: "Dean Edwards is a dangerous and manipulative offender who preys on vulnerable women. We hope this successful prosecution will give other victims of sexual offences the courage and confidence in South Wales Police to report similar crimes."

Edwards must serve at least eight years in prison before he can apply for parole and he must register as a sex offender for life.