Man jailed for rape - Oxfordshire

13/11/2014

A man appeared at Oxford Crown Court today, Thursday, 13 November 2014, and was jailed for 13 and a half years for rape and sexual assault in Oxfordshire.

Cristian Pereira, aged 31, from Samphire Road, Oxford, raped the victim, a 19-year-old woman, on a track near Stoney Lane, Little Haseley.

Pereira was arrested in connection with the offence on 29 April and charged the following day.

He pleaded guilty on 15 August to two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault and was sentenced to 13 and a half years imprisonment for the two rapes and four years imprisonment for the sexual assault, to be served concurrently.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor of Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "The victim, a 19-year-old woman, was contacted by Pereira through Facebook. His Facebook profile was false and he was posing as a female au pair. After conversing for a period of time, the victim accepted the offer of a lift to Heathrow airport from Pereira, who she believed was a female au pair. Pereira turned up at the meeting point convincing her that her Facebook friend had asked him to collect her. She got into his van and he drove to remote farmland before forcefully committing sexual offences against her.

"The victim was terrified and feared for her life. She tried to escape on two occasions, but Pereira was stronger and faster than her. After her ordeal she had little option but to get back into his van, which became stuck in heavy mud enabling her to make her escape. She was found by a farmer, who contacted the police and Pereira was arrested nearby.

"Found in the back of his van were a number of his possessions, including clothing and a wash bag, he had a substantial amount of money on his person, and the room where he had been residing up until that day was virtually empty of his property. All of this indicated that he was preparing to flee after committing these offences.

"Pereira initially claimed that he had previously met the victim and that she consented to the sexual activity. However, the evidence gathered by Thames Valley Police and presented by the CPS was so strong that Pereira recognised that justice had caught up with him and he had little option but to plead guilty to the most serious of the offences against him, accepting the Prosecution's case in its entirety when he appeared at Oxford Crown Court on 15 August. This prevented the victim from the added trauma of re-living the terrible events of that evening and giving evidence during a trial.

"This was a planned, targeted and violent stranger rape. Pereira is clearly an extremely ruthless, predatory and dangerous man.

"As a result of further enquiries made by Thames Valley Police and the CPS, it has been established that Pereira is currently wanted by the Brazilian Authorities for an offence of rape, for which he has been convicted and sentenced in his absence in Brazil.

"This case highlights the commitment of the police and CPS to prosecute cases involving violence against women. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"This prosecution would not have been possible without the courage of the victim who was willing to support proceedings. The physical and emotional impact on her of the abhorrent actions of Pereira is impossible to quantify. I hope that the conviction and sentence will offer her some comfort. Our thoughts are very much with her at this time."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Stephen Knight of Force CID based at Abingdon added: "I hope today's sentence will finally bring some closure to the victim. The streets will certainly be safer now that Pereira is behind bars."

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Louise Roddy said: "I am pleased with the sentence result which prevents an extremely dangerous man being able to commit any more horrendous crimes. My absolute admiration goes to the victim, who has managed to start rebuilding her life due to her strength of character and determination. I would also like to take this opportunity to say that if you are a victim of a sexual offence please understand that Thames Valley Police will do everything possible to investigate your report and provide you the level of support you require. This may be through our specially trained officers that have great experience of dealing with victims of such crimes and also by connecting you to other support agencies."

Director of the Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, Lisa Ward added: "At the Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre we offer independent and confidential support to women who have experienced sexual violence at any point in their lives, regardless of whether they do or don't wish to enter the criminal justice processes.

"Women who feel they may like to access our support can find out more about the service we offer on our website www.oxfordrapecrisis.net."