A Ghanaian man sentenced to nearly 12 years in jail for raping a young woman in front of her boyfriend in Germany, has tried to burn himself to death in his prison cell.
Eric X, 31, was handed the 11 year and six month jail term last October following the brutal attack on the 23-year-old woman at a campsite near Bonn, west Germany.
Last week, he set fire to the bedding in his maximum security jail cell and suffered third degree burns on 30 per cent of his body.
He is being kept in an artificial coma at Cologne Merheim Hospital and will need intensive skin grafts over much of his body.
German media reported that the injuries are most severe on his face and stomach.
It was also reported that he has been a 'jailhouse terror' since he was sentenced, threatening jail staff and other inmates on an almost daily basis since he was incarcerated, once hitting as warder in the face.
On the day of the fire last Tuesday he was due to be informed by the local prosecutor in Cologne of an extension to his sentence for the assault.
Eric X, whose last name has not been made public, denied to the end being responsible for the rape despite the testimony from an expert saying the chance of someone else's DNA being on the victim was a 30 billion to one chance.
And he insulted his victim in court by saying: 'If the court says the DNA fits, then I have to call the girl a prostitute.
'Anyone who supports this girl who claims to have been raped is the dirtiest person on earth.'
He struck in April last year at a campsite near Bonn dragging a 23-year-old woman from the tent she was sharing with her boyfriend.
A major scandal ensued when it emerged police refused to take seriously a 999 call from her partner saying his girlfriend was being raped yards from him.
'You are not f***ing with me I hope?' said the officer who took the call.
The boyfriend, 26, was threatened with a tree saw which X held to the throat of his victim while he was forced to watch.
It took officers nearly 30 minutes to believe his story, collect the victim and take her to hospital.
A photofit picture of the attacker led to his arrest and DNA testing confirmed his guilt. A CD player he stole from the tent was found at his refugee centre.
He tried to flee when police moved in to arrest him, flinging a rucksack at one officer.
It turned out that the backpack was stolen from a barbecue party shortly before the rape occurred.
The rape was one of the most high-profile sex attacks laid at the door of refugees since the migrant crisis began, prompting hundreds of tips from the public.
Just days before the attack, X had been told he was set to be deported to Italy, where he had originally entered the Schengen zone.
He arrived in Italy in January 2017 and his asylum application was immediately rejected but by then he had made the journey to Kassel in Germany.
The suspect lived for a time in asylum seeker housing accommodation in the town of Sankt Augustin, near Bonn.
But local media have questioned why he was not immediately deported. If he survives his suicide attempt he will face an extra two years on to his sentence for torching his cell.