Romanian man jailed for 15 years for rape and robbery


A man has been jailed for 15 years for the rape and robbery of a vulnerable 69-year-old woman in Worthing.

Gabriel Lupu, 23, a Romanian national who had only been in the UK for around three months prior to the attack on 9 May this year, previously pleaded guilty to the offences at Lewes Crown Court.

The victim was a vulnerable lady, not least because she had experienced serious mental health issues for many years. Lupu attempted to take her handbag at around 1.30am in Worthing town centre. He then forced her into a car park and raped her.

Lupu was subsequently caught on CCTV in possession of her handbag. This was later found but £200 in cash had been removed.

Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, Kris Venkatasami, said: "Thanks to DNA evidence secured from the victims clothing, along with CCTV footage, the case built against Lupu was overwhelming and he was left with little option but to plead guilty to these serious crimes.

"Lupu targeted a woman who was clearly vulnerable and far older than himself and todays sentence is testimony to the horrific nature of his attack."

The case was prosecuted by the CPS South East Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit, which is staffed by specially trained lawyers, paralegal officers and admin caseworkers, who offer specialist legal advice and decision-making on cases of rape and serious sexual assault.