A former children’s television star has been jailed for ten years after raping a woman and telling her her ‘you’re dying tonight’.
Paul Ballard, 39, was found guilty on all counts at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 30 July after denying rape, attempted rape, assault, criminal damage and threats to kill.
During a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
That sentence will run consecutively to a nine-year-sentence which he is currently serving for killing two people while driving under the influence of cocaine.
Former children’s TV presenter Paul Ballard, 39, has been jailed for ten years after raping a woman and telling her her ‘life is ending’
Former child actor and TV presenter Ballard had starred on GMTV’s programme Diggit from 1998 to 2002 with Fearne Cotton, Craig Doyle, and Reggie Yates.
Ballard, from Theydon Bois, Essex, launched an attack on the woman shortly after 5am on September 19, 2020, in a hotel in Hatfield Heath.
During the incident, the 39-year-old told her: ‘Your life is ending. You’re dying tonight.’
But she fled the room and found a member of hotel staff, who then called the police.
Paul Ballard, back row second from right, is pictured next to Reggie Yates (centre) and Fearne Cotton (bottom right) before the trio starred on GMTV’s children’s programme Diggit from 1998 to 2002
Police safeguarded the woman, who has been supported throughout the last 12 months by specialist officers.
Ballard had claimed to have had consensual sex with the woman and denied he had threatened her.
But the jury found him guilty on all counts.
Speaking after sentencing today, the leading investigator Detective Constable Dan Lambert said: ‘Today, Ballard has been sentenced to ten years in jail after subjecting the woman to a terrifying ordeal.
‘Our priority throughout this investigation has been ensuring her welfare and securing justice for her.
Pictured: The horrifying aftermath of the eight car pile-up in Romford, Essex last February that claimed the lives of Eileen Haskell, 64, and Richard Trezise, 48
‘The strength she has shown has been remarkable throughout.
‘As a force, we take crimes against women and girls extremely seriously and I very proud to have played a part in securing justice for Ballard’s victim and he will now spend a significant amount of time behind bars as a result.
‘I want to again pay tribute to the bravery shown by the victim in this case.
Eileen Haskell, 64, (above) was driving when she was killed in the collision last February
‘No one should ever have to go through the ordeal she has endured but I hope there is some comfort in the knowledge that her attacker is now behind bars for some time.’
It comes after Ballard was convicted in August for killing two people in a horror car pile-up.
He was driving between ’88mph and 104mph’ in a 30mph zone before he hit the back of Ms Haskell’s Ford Kuga.
Ms Haskell died in the crash, which took place on Squirrels Heath Road in Romford, east London, on February 20 last year.
The second victim, school teacher Richard Trezise, 48, was waiting at a bus stop with members of his family when he was struck by a vehicle and killed in the pile-up.
Eight cars were involved in the collision and at least seven people were treated in hospital.
Cocaine addict Ballard was driving with his 12-year-old son in the front passenger seat and claimed he suffered a seizure before the crash, the Old Bailey heard.
Ballard, of Woodland Way, Theydon Bois, Essex, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He denied two counts of causing death by driving whilst uninsured, which will not be pursued.