A SEX attacker who tried to interfere with witnesses and scare his victim into withdrawing her statement has been put behind bars.

Samuel Pelosi, 25, sexually assaulted a woman before contacting her via phone from prison.

He tried to influence a statement she was due to make in court and persuade her to interfere with other witnesses.

Essex Police were first contacted on Friday, April 5, by a woman reporting she had been sexually assaulted at an address in Harwich.

Pelosi, of Winstree Road, Stanway, was arrested on Tuesday, April 9, and later charged with assault by penetration.

He was remanded in custody.

Staff at HMP Chelmsford Prison then alerted police to a series of phone calls made by Pelosi to his victim.

The calls were recorded and later used in court as evidence against him.

Pelosi was convicted of assault by penetration and perverting the course of justice.

He was jailed for four and a half years at a sentencing hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday.

A five-year restraining order was imposed and he will remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Investigating officer DC Reuben Brame, of the Adult Sexual Assault Investigations Team, said: “Pelosi sexually assaulted an innocent woman before making attempts to get her to change her statement.

“During his calls, Pelosi clearly attempted to get the woman to interfere with witnesses and he tried to influence what she would go on to say at court.

“I’d like to thank HMP Chelmsford Prison for raising the alarm as Pelosi’s attempted to interfere with our case.

“Following some good partnership working, we were able to convict him for a further 12 months for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

“Lastly, I’d like to thank the victim for her bravery and I hope this outcome offers some justice to her.”