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Man sentenced to four years for rape

|News, Sexual offences

A 39-year-old man has been sentenced to four years in prison today (25 June 2021) at Bournemouth Crown Court for raping a woman after a party in 2015.

James Lidbetter, from Ringwood, was found guilty after a trial in May 2021.

He claimed the sexual activity was consensual, but the CPS were able to build a strong case against him using the brave testimony of the victim which clearly showed that Lidbetter was aware she did not consent to the encounter.

Sophie Stevens, Head of CPS Wessex Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “As part of our long-term partnership with Dorset police to improve outcomes for victims in rape and serious sexual assault cases, we are working together from an early stage to ensure there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, and to better support victims through the criminal justice system.

“I want to encourage victims to feel confident in coming forward to report rape and serious sexual assaults to the police.

“Our team of dedicated and specialist prosecutors are committed to delivering justice for victims, and we will do all we can to ensure perpetrators experience the full force of the law.”

Notes to editors

  • The Crown Prosecution Service is committed to closing the gap between the number of cases being reported and those going to court, to make sure more victims get justice.
  • In January, the CPS and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) launched its Joint National Action Plan to address disparity between reported offences and cases reaching court.
  • In June, the CPS and the NPCC launched the National ISVA framework which commits to new minimum standards of support for victims for rape and sexual violence.
  • Victims can report sexual offences to their local police on 101 or call 999 if they are in immediate danger. For confidential support, victims can speak to Rape Crisis and Victim Support.

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