Man prowled streets before raping teen in Exeter

Man prowled streets before raping teen in Exeter

A man had been “prowling the street” for a victim before raping a teenager in an alleyway, a court heard.

Gheorghe Bertlef attacked the 18-year-old in Exeter on 13 November 2019 as she walked home from a club.

An earlier trial at Exeter Crown Court heard he had “manhandled” his victim in Hoopern Lane and jurors found him guilty of rape and attempted rape.

Jailing him for 13 years, Judge Robert Linford told Truro Crown Court the defendant he was a “dangerous man”.

He said 32-year-old Berltlef had been “prowling the street” looking for a victim and that when he approached her, it should have been “blindingly obvious she didn’t want anything to do with you”.

Judge Linford added: “You are a dangerous man with no desire whatsoever to change.”

Jurors heard Bertlef, of Pinhoe Road, had spent weeks walking around Exeter in the middle of the night looking for lone women.

The court heard when he found his victim, he blocked her from leaving the alley during a 30-minute “sustained” attack.

The victim told his trial she had been so frightened she had frozen and did what her attacker said, but told him repeatedly she wanted to be allowed home.

His defence team said the Royal Mail sorting officer worker had been a man of previous good character and hard-working.

Bertlef, a Romanian national who came to the UK in 2016, was jailed for 13 years for rape, with 10 to be served in prison and three on licence.

He was jailed for seven years concurrently for attempted rape, ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life, and will face deportation on release.

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