'Terrifying' rapist jailed for 12 years

·2-min read

A Victorian man who raped two women after ambushing them while they were out walking has been jailed for more than a decade.

Justin Mathieson attacked the women, then aged 32 and 47, while they were walking along the Bay Trail, in Melbourne's southeast, in separate incidents in February and October 2012.

Mathieson, 32, on Thursday faced the Victorian County Court, where he was jailed for a total of 12 years after pleading guilty to four counts of rape and indecent assault.

"It is no understatement to describe your actions as every woman's worst nightmare," Judge Amanda Chambers said.

"You preyed on two women, seven months apart, for your own sexual gratification. They were entitled to be safe.

"Your serious offending was a terrifying ordeal for the victims that has had a profound and enduring impact on their lives."

Mathieson told the 32-year-old woman, whom he attacked in October 2012, that he was "really horny" and "just wanted sex".

He also threatened to stab her with a pair of scissors if she screamed.

The woman managed to fight him off and run about 40 metres, but he chased her down and persisted.

She described in court the devastating impact of the attack, which led to her suffering from depression, anxiety, fatigue and social isolation.

"I still don't feel safe anywhere where I am alone," the woman said in a statement.

"I have been known to spend time shifting furniture against my doors so I would hear and hopefully stop intruders.

"I feel like I wasted the best years of my life at home alone doing nothing."

She also described how her dream of becoming a mother was fading as she hadn't felt comfortable forming a relationship with a partner since the attack.

"It is highly unlikely I will become a mother and have a family chapter of life," she said.

"This is devastating for a woman to accept."

The other woman, then aged 47, recalled seeing Mathieson while out on a long walk with a friend.

"There was something disconcerting and creepy about him," she said.

After her friend left a few hours later, she got a "sinking feeling" when saw him again near the Elwood Canal at night.

She then heard footsteps as Mathieson ran up behind her and attacked.

"That's when the nightmare began," she said.

"The sound of running feet ... still causes my heart to pound and fill me with fear."

Mathieson was arrested last year after investigators matched DNA samples to him

Mathieson has previously been convicted for touching teenage girls on a bus and at an ice rink, the court heard.

The 32-year-old also has a history of mental health problems and developed schizophrenia about four years after the two Elwood rapes.

He must serve at least seven years and six months in prison before being eligible for parole and will be a registered sex offender for life.

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