THE victim of a horrific sex attack in Tenby is pushing for a change in the law regarding rape.

Her attacker, Andrew Check, was this week jailed for 10 years with a further seven years on licence.

But despite holding a knife to the victim’s throat and penetrating her with an object, Check was charged with sexual assault rather than rape.

Rape is defined in UK law as penetration with a penis without consent.

The victim – whose bravery was commended by senior police officers and the Crown Prosecution Service – wrote in a victim impact statement that she now suffered from nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks.

“I am unable to sleep and I don’t know how and when I will recover my life again,” she added.

But she is also determined to secure a change in the law to ensure similar attacks in the future are defined as rape.

She has contacted her Member of Parliament, Simon Hart, about the issue.

Mr Hart has spoken and written to the Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice, Elizabeth Truss.

Mr Hart wrote: “My constituent was dismayed when she was told that he would not be charged with rape.

“Unsurprisingly she considers that she was raped, regardless of whether a penis or an object was used.

“She said that ‘only a man could have written that law’ and I think she has a point.

“It is this principle which is the most important matter, however there is also the knock-on effect that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority awards £3,300 for severe sexual assault, whereas for rape it is £11,000.”

Mr Hart told the Western Telegraph this week that the response from Ms Truss had been encouraging and other countries, including Australia, had already changed the law so that such an attack would be classed as rape.

He added: “I was so struck by the bravery of this woman and she was determined to talk about her experience.

"This case does highlight a huge anomaly which is particularly hard on people who have already been through a hell of a lot.

“The fact is the level of distress for the victim is the same for rape or, as in this case, what the law currently states is a violent sex attack.”

Mr Hart, MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire is hopeful that the law could be amended via secondary legislation without having to go through a lengthy Parliament process.