Would-be Stratford rapist jailed for five-and-a-half years - The Stratford Observer
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11th Aug, 2022

Would-be Stratford rapist jailed for five-and-a-half years

A WOULD-BE rapist who had attacked a woman as she walked home after a night out in Stratford fled after his victim’s blood-curdling scream alerted people in their nearby homes.

Her scream was so chilling that, despite it being just after one in the morning, resident rushed out to see what was going on, and called the police, a judge has heard.

Attacker Paul Comanescu, of Birmingham Road, Stratford, was jailed for five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempted rape.

THe 32-year-old, who faces deportation to Romania when he is released, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Prosecutor John Evans said in June a woman in her 30s went out with her boyfriend and a friend in Stratford town centre, visiting pubs until around 1am.

Shortly before 1am they went to a take-away because her boyfriend wanted something to eat, although she was feeling unwell and thinking of making her own way home.

While they were waiting, Comanescu also came in, but left after about a minute and ran up the road a short distance before walking out of sight of the camera.

Having decided to make her way home by herself, rather than wait with her boyfriend, the woman left the take-away and began walking away from the town centre in the same direction.

A CCTV camera showed her walking ‘in a rather staggering manner’ before she too went out of sight.

In Arden Street, she met Comanescu and they began talking as they continued walking.

At around Clopton Road she thought they were going to go their separate ways, and said goodbye as she carried on her way.

“But he pushed her to the floor, so her back was on the grass and he was on top of her, pushing her down with his hand over her mouth, and he put his hand under her skirt.”

Mr Evans said the woman described him pressing his hand against her and rubbing aggressively, at which she bit the hand he still had over her mouth and, as he pulled it away, screamed out.

“According to residents, it was a blood-curdling scream. Notwithstanding the time, a number of them went outside and found her. She was clearly hysterical and saying ‘He tried to rape me.’”

As Comanescu ran off towards Birmingham Road, the police were called, and DNA led to a match with Comanescu, who was arrested on June 8.

But he denied trying to rape her, claiming it was her who had made advances towards him.

Jonathan Coode, defending, said: “The meeting between these two was purely by chance. They met each-other and they talked and walked, and then something went wrong.”

Jailing Comanescu, Judge Sally Hancox told him: “Whatever pleasantries may have passed between you and your victim, there came a time when you took a decision that you wanted to have sex with her.

“You acted in a manner that was frightening, sexually aggressive, and left a woman questioning whether her life will ever be the same again. I hope she will be told you did at least have the decency to admit it.”

Det Insp Liam Barry of Warwickshire Police spoke after Comanescu was sentenced.

He said: “This was a shocking attack that terrified the victim. I’d like to recognise her bravery throughout the investigation; her support and the overwhelming evidence against Comanescu undoubtedly led to him entering an early guilty plea.

“Fortunately, sexual offences at the hands of strangers are extremely rare but when they happen they have a huge impact on the victim and cause concern in the wider community.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the officers and staff involved in this investigation. Their skill and professionalism led to Comanescu being quickly identified and arrested.

“Comanescu is a dangerous individual and jail is clearly the best place for him.”

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