A career criminal allowed to walk free despite being branded a 'menace to the public' went on to rape an 82-year-old virgin in her own home, a court heard today.
Police found Daniel Hewett, 23, sleeping in the bed where he carried out the sex attack on the vulnerable pensioner, who he initially wanted to burgle.
Lewes Crown Court heard when he was 17 he was jailed for five years for attacking a foreign student, but within two months of his release he offended again.
But Judge Michael Lawson, despite having the opportunity to send him back to prison, allowed Hewett to walk free from court in October last year to enable him to 'set about a new existence'.But in May this year Hewett raped the 82-year-old, who the court heard was a virgin.
She then called Sussex Police from a neighbour's house, who found the rapist asleep in the elderly woman's bed.
The pensioner was left so traumatised by the rape that she suffered a heart scare and had to be rushed to hospital.
Hewett admitted burglary and rape and will be sentenced on September 19.
Hewett's victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has since recovered from her ordeal and was described by Judge Charles Kemp as 'remarkable'.
The sex attack came six years after Hewett was jailed for a brutal attack on a foreign student in Hove, Sussex.
Jiri Fris, then 24, had been walking home from work when he was set upon by a 17-year-old Hewett and his gang of teenage friends.
The pair battered the Czech man's face before striking him with a broken bottle taken from a recycling bin. The glass slit his eyeball and despite emergency surgery Mr Fris has never regained his sight.
Hewett, of Brighton, Sussex, was ound guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after a six-day trial in May 2007.
He was released in May 2012 but just two months after he was released he targeted the home of a pensioner who had left a window ajar at his home in Hove, Sussex.
The serial criminal stole his TV and some commemorative cups on July 7 last year before a member of the public saw Hewett carrying the goods down the street.
He was thrust in front of a court where he admitted the burglary at the pensioner's home.
Sentencing Hewett for the burglary, Judge Lawson told him: 'If you are not a danger to the public, you are certainly a menace to the public.
'If you want to spend the rest of your life in prison, doing a stretch here and a stretch there, that is your business.
'On your 23rd birthday, you set about a new existence.'
Michael Lawson presided over the case of teacher Jeremy Forrest, 30, who was convicted of abducting a 15-year-old pupil and admitted five further counts of sexual activity with a child.