A SUCCESSFUL businessman has been jailed for six years after a jury found him guilty of raping and assaulting a woman.

Mitchell Methuen, of Churchwood Road, Pontnewydd, Cwmbran, was convicted after a trial at Newport Crown Court.

Prosecutor Suzanne Thomas told the jury that the defendant, who runs a Pontypool-based firm called MSM Partitioning Limited, had sexually and physically attacked his victim.

He was convicted of one count of rape and three of assault by beating. The 46-year-old was acquitted of two other rape charges.

The complainant told detectives in a video interview recorded last year how she was raped by Methuen and how she had felt “used”.

She said he had also physically attacked her after he headbutted her and grabbed her by the throat and chest.

The video of her police interview was played to the jury of five men and seven women.

Methuen was defended by barrister Andrew Taylor who said his client was running a thriving business with a “fantastic reputation”.

The defendant had denied all six charges during his trial which lasted a week and was remanded in custody after his conviction last month.

Mitigating for his client at his sentencing hearing in Cardiff Crown Court, Mr Taylor said: “He has been devastated by the verdicts and he had never before been in custody. His life has been turned on its head.”

His barrister said that it was likely that his business would now be lost and that his employees faced redundancy.

Mr Taylor said Methuen’s former clients included the Courts Service, major NHS contractors, high street businesses and blue chip companies.

He added: “He is highly regarded and skilled and is devoted to his work. He has lost his business and his reputation. His mother and father remain steadfast in their support. He is not bad in nature.”

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke told Methuen, who has two previous convictions for violence, that his offending was so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence could be justified.

Judge Lloyd-Clarke said the defendant will serve half of that term before being released on licence.

Methuen must register as a sex offender indefinitely and pay a victim surcharge upon release.