A former professional cricketer from South Africa has been jailed for 18 years for raping a woman 150 times over a ten-year period.

Dion Taljard, who played 25 first class matches for Border in his native South Africa before relocating to the United Kingdom, had been regarded as a trusted figure in his local cricket club and community in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, the Daily Mail reported.

The 47-year old was found guilty of 19 counts of rape, two of sexual assault, and a further one of intimidation in the Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

According to the report, Taljard repeatedly assaulted the victim during alcohol-fuelled rages between 2002 and 2012, holding her by the throat until she passed out.

Advertisement

The court heard the complainant, who cannot be named, met Taljard at a local cricket club and would see him on Monday evenings when he played darts at a nearby pub.

Taljard, who was married at the time, told his victim "I want to have sex with you and you will comply" during the drunken liaisons, which began in 2002.

The victim claims this happened at least 150 times.

The woman reportedly tried to take her own life and came forward more than three years after the attacks ended.

When Taljard found out he was a suspect, he confronted the victim in a pub and banged his hands together saying: "Boom", the Daily Mail reported.

Taljard, who has maintained his innocence, shook his head and his girlfriend wept in the public gallery as Judge Maurice Greene sentenced him this week.

"You used violence towards this woman over and above even the rapes themselves. You manipulated her and sent her threatening text messages to her to get your own way," Greene said.

"She was afraid of you. On one occasion she went missing and had to have a police helicopter look for her.

"She described herself as at rock bottom and suicidal. She felt downgraded and intimidated on many many occasions. This was because of what you had done to her."

According to Sport24, Taljard represented Border between 1993 and 1999 and is best known for taking a hat-trick against a Pakistan touring side in 1998.

His career stagnated in the UK where he played club cricket in Oldham and Manchester, as well as in Scotland and Wales.