Convicted Sunderland rapist threatened to kill his girlfriend and accused her of having affair with his son
A convicted rapist who threatened to kill his girlfriend while accusing her of having an affair with his son has been put behind bars.
Ian Cummings hit his victim, who is more than two decades younger than him, with a plank of wood until it broke and warned he would "do life in prison" for her.
The 57-year-old picked up a knife and warned the woman she had "to the count of five" to tell the truth about her and his son, or he would "put the kitchen knife in her".
Newcastle Crown Court heard Cummings said he was "sorry and loved her" while she was beaten and bruised after the attack, but punched her again, in the face, the next day.
Cummings, of Ernwill Avenue, Castletown, Sunderland, admitted two charges of assault, making a threat to kill and breach of a restraining order which was meant to keep him away from her.
The order had been imposed when he was jailed for 20 months for stalking her in 2014.
Cummings was convicted of rape in 1978, as well as attacking a girlfriend in 1992 and assaulting another partner in 2012.
Judge Jeremy Freedman has now jailed Cummings for four years and told him: "You are a persistent and violent abuser of women."
The court heard Cummings' most recent victim has resumed her relationship with him and said in a letter to the court: "I still love him very much. Without drink and drugs he is a really good partner and person. I genuinely believe this time on remand has given him time to reflect on what's important. I think he wants to change for the better."
Judge Freedman removed the restraining order that had been in place to prevent Cummings having any contact with the woman, at her request.
But the judge told him: "You remain a significant danger to her and indeed any other partners with whom you engage in a relationship.
"The danger is such that there is a serious risk of causing her or any other partner serious harm."
Prosecutor Ian Mullarkey had told the court the attack on the latest victim happened last July.
Mr Mullarkey said: "The defendant said the complainant and his son were having an affair."
The court heard Cummings said the woman had "as long as it took him to have a cigarette" to tell the truth, or he "would do life in prison for her".
Mr Mullarkey added: "He picked up a wooden plank from some flat-pack furniture. He struck her repeatedly with the wooden plank with such force it broke.
"She was crying and begging him to stop. "
Mr Mullarkey said the woman "feared she was about to die" in the attack, which continued when Cummings picked up the knife and said she had "to the count of five" to tell the truth.
Mr Mullarkey said: "She said 'Ive never been with your son. If you are going to do it, just stab me'."
The court heard the woman already had a black eye and "extensive bruising to her body" when Cummings punched her again the next day.
He claimed the victim had fallen off a ladder when questioned by police over the attack.
Sue Hirst, defending, said there has been 295 telephone calls, resulting in 20 hours of recorded conversations between the couple while Cummings has been on remand.
Miss Hirst told the court: "They were both telling each other they loved each other and it is quite apparent they wish to continue their relationship."
Miss Hirst said Cummings has had to cope with family tragedies and has worked hard in prison and obtained good references.
Cummings told the court himself: "I know I done wrong and have got to be punished but since I have been in prison I have worked really hard.
"I am very sorry for what I have done. I am asking for a chance to get the help I need. I will never appear before a crown court again."