A wife overheard her husband raping his girlfriend when his mobile phone accidentally called her, it was revealed today.
Matthew Stacey, 42, is starting a six-year jail term after being found guilty of carrying out the attack on Vittoria Di Franco, 34, of Ipswich, Suffolk, who has waived her right to anonymity.
The car salesman abused Miss Di Franco and duped her into believing he was single when they started dating – even though he was still married, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Rape: Matthew Stacey (left), 42, is starting a six-year jail term after being found guilty of carrying out the attack on his victim Vittoria Di Franco (right, with Stacey), 34, of Ipswich, who has waived her right to anonymity
Miss Di Franco – who wants to to encourage other rape victims to come forward – said: ‘I lived in fear. I was scared. When he lived with me my entire life revolved around his needs.
‘By telling my story I want other women to come forward and stand up to abuse. Victims shouldn’t feel ashamed. I don’t hate him, but I really hate what he did. I used to put up with so much because I didn’t want to upset him.’
She said he would come home so drunk he could barely stand up, adding: ‘He was really abusive, but he was drunk half the time. He used to buy me things as if it was an excuse for what he had done.
‘He was very extreme. I went on holiday once with my mum. When I came back home he had chucked everything of mine out – the washing machine, the phone, cooker, kettle, iron, hoover’
Stacey’s estranged wife heard him raping his new partner when the speed dial on his phone was unwittingly set off during the attack, the court was told.
Stacey and Miss Di Franco had met through dating website PlentyMoreFish, said Andrew Thompson, prosecuting. He pestered her until she agreed to see him in 2009, and they began a relationship.
Mr Thompson added: ‘At times he would refer to her as the next Mrs Stacey.’
But he said Stacey started acting differently towards Miss Di Franco after about five months. She suspected he was not being truthful with her and discovered he was still married.
Stacey’s wife was surprised and upset when she found out they were seeing each other. But Miss Di Franco, believing her relationship with him was a loving and enduring one, continued to see him.
Stacey stayed at her home on a regular basis. But they had highs and lows as he would get drunk and became mean and spiteful. Stacey sexually assaulted her on one occasion, the court was told.
‘I lived in fear. I was scared. I don’t hate him, but I really hate what he did’
Vittoria Di Franco
He also raped her in 2010 after a row broke out over his mobile. Stacey felt she was taunting him as she had his phone, the court heard.
He lost his temper and she fell on the bed with his mobile beneath her. Miss Di Franco shouted at crazed Stacey to stop, but he raped her.
Mr Thompson said: ‘When he finished he retrieved the phone from the bed. At that stage he realised the phone had dialled someone, and the call had connected with his estranged wife.’
He said Stacey’s estranged wife Faith immediately recognised his voice and heard his victim pleading with him to stop. Stacey was convicted of assault by penetration and rape.
Stacey was cleared of five other rape charges relating to Miss Di Franco. He denied all the charges.
Miss Di Franco wanted to be identified because she said sex abuse victims should not be ashamed. Rape victims are granted automatic anonymity – but she spoke out in a bid to help other women.