The victim who was 22 at the time of the assault reported the rape in November 2020 at Fareham Police Station. She has been supported by specialist officers in the subsequent months.
Mark Anthony Roberts of Stonebeach Rise, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex was subsequently interviewed under caution and later charged as part of the investigation.
Today (20 May 2022) at Portsmouth Crown Court Roberts was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape. He will also have to sign the sex offenders register for life.
The judge described the victim as ‘heroic’ for coming forward and reporting the non-recent offence.
DC Marie Harding, from the Operation Amberstone team, said: “It takes a great deal of courage for anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual assault to come forward and report the matter to Police. I want to commend the bravery of this woman for telling officers what had happened to her a number of years beforehand and for supporting this investigation through to court.
“She is keen that her experience can inspire others who have been the victim of similar offences to come forward. Even if there is a delay in reporting, there can still be a chance to secure a conviction.
“Our specialist officers will investigate thoroughly and will seek justice wherever possible.
“The man responsible in this case has now rightly been brought to justice and can’t harm another person while he serves his prison sentence.
“We take allegations of sexual offences incredibly seriously, and do everything in our power to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice. We also work closely with a number of support agencies who provide specialist help to those who need it.
“Anyone who has been affected by this type of crime is encouraged to contact police on 101 where you can speak to a specially trained officer in confidence. We understand not everyone is comfortable talking to police, but please know that there are other independent support agencies out there that can provide you with the help you need.”
If you’ve been affected by sexual abuse, you can visit the police website for details on how to report this and where to seek support: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/