A RAPIST has been warned he faces a ‘substantial’ jail term after attacking a woman in Botley.

Judge Ian Pringle QC today issued the warning to Mark Pearton after he admitted raping and sexually assaulting his victim in Raleigh Park, Oxford, on January 10.

The 44-year-old, who appeared at Oxford Crown Court via video link from Woodhill Prison, also admitted having a knife with him on the day of the attack.

Following today's conviction, investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Ben Henley, said: "Pearton has pleaded guilty to the terrible offences that he committed.

"He is an offender who threatened the victim with a knife before raping her. Rightly, he will now be sentenced for one of the most serious of crimes.

"I would like to pay tribute to the victim for the bravery she has shown during this horrendous time and I am pleased she will not have to go through the added ordeal of giving evidence in court.

"I would also like to thank all those members of the public who came forward with information during our investigation which ultimately helped us to bring the case to court."

Thames Valley Police stepped up patrols in Botley after Pearton raped the woman, who the force said was walking along Harcourt Hill when she was shoved at knifepoint into the park.

Balaclava-clad Pearton then carried out his ‘appalling’ offending, the force said at the time.

Officers combed the area after the attack, conducting house-to-house enquiries, setting up two forensic tents and putting a cordon in place.

A university student living at nearby Westminster Hall, on the Harcourt Hill campus, said there was a ‘major police presence’ at the halls during the evening of the attack.

Residents also reported hearing a helicopter hovering over the scene at night, and spotted a dozen police cars parked nearby the next day.

Pearton, of Cavendish Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex, was remanded in custody and is due to appear before the court for sentence on April 6.