A violent rapist who was caught after giving police a sample of his own DNA has been jailed for 14 years.
Jozef Janczura, 34, attacked an 18-year-old student in Riverside Park, Southampton, in December 2018.
His victim “thought she was going to die” as Janczura choked, suffocated and strangled her to the point of unconsciousness, detectives said.
He said “sorry” as he walked away, according to police. At Southampton Crown Court he was convicted of rape.
Judge Peter Henry said Janczura, of Laburnum Road in the city, had been “hunting for lone females” on the night he attacked his victim.
He added: “You followed her. She became concerned and tried to take evasive action.
“You were not deterred. You pulled her to the ground, strangled her… and raped her.
“When you had finished you left her in the mud… with noticeable injuries, bruising on her neck and shoulders.”
Martyn Booth, prosecuting, said the victim had her headphones on and was listening to music when “all of a sudden she was attacked from behind”.
“She struggled, she tried to fight back her attacker but he was able to overpower her and he forced her to the floor,” he added.
“She described the man as being on top of her while she was on the floor and strangling her to the point she was in and out of consciousness.”
Janczura was caught after CCTV showed him following another woman and then the victim on the night of the attack.
The images led detectives to suspect the rapist lived in an area of the city known as the Flowers Estate.
Police asked 137 men on the estate, including Janczura, for a DNA sample. No-one refused.
Janczura’s sample matched DNA taken from the victim and he was arrested on 5 March.
Det Insp Roger Wood, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: “It could be that he felt that if he didn’t take part he would have given the game away, or didn’t think that we’d be able to do anything with it.”
Janczura was described as “predatory” by police and was seen hanging around students’ halls of residence “looking for targets”.
Judge Henry said the attack had changed the victim’s life “substantially”.
“She says she wishes she could go back to her old self so badly,” he said.
“I am satisfied that you pose a substantial risk of serious harm to women, notwithstanding that this is your first offence of this type.”
Mr Booth said Janczura, who has learning difficulties, has previous convictions for “minor matters of dishonesty” in his home country of Poland.
His DNA sample has been sent to Poland for the authorities there to check for matches in unsolved cases.
Janczura was also convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm.
He faces a six-year extension to his sentence which could be served in custody.