Two men have been sentenced to 14 years each after being found guilty of the rape of a woman outside Farnham Library in December 2018.
Nicolae Dragoi, 42, of Crondall Lane, Farnham and Constantin Ionescu, 36, of Station Hill, Farnham, followed their victim along West Street in the early hours of Sunday, 9 December 2018 before both assaulting her close to the library building.
They were spotted by a member of the public who raised the alarm but both men had fled the scene before police arrived, leaving their victim lying on the ground.
Specialist officers from Surrey Police’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT) carried out an exhaustive enquiry, including extensive CCTV research from the surrounding area.
Following a media appeal which included CCTV images, a member of the public came forward with key information which led to the arrest of Ionescu on Monday, 17 December, closely followed by his work colleague Dragoi, on Tuesday, 18 December.
Forensic testing matched DNA found on the victim to both of the men. The men were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court today (Monday, 24 February) following a trial which lasted over two weeks.
Detective Inspector Adam Tatton, from the SOIT, said: “This was a predatory attack on a woman who was actively targeted by these two men. They pursued her throughout Farnham town centre and once isolated, subjected her to a traumatic assault.
“The strength and courage demonstrated by the victim throughout the course of this investigation and subsequent trial has led to the conviction of both defendants who, had they not been caught, would have continued to pose a significant risk to others.
“The impact on the victim and her family is far-reaching and it is hoped that this sentence will go some way in helping her to move forward.
“I hope that this case sends a clear message to anyone who has been, or believes they have been, the victim of a serious sexual assault that we will take their allegation seriously, investigate each case fully and seek to prosecute those responsible.”
Inspector Gary Smith, Borough Commander for Waverley, said: “At the time this crime occurred it understandably caused a lot of concern in the area. I would like to thank the local media and the public for the huge part they played in assisting the investigation. The information which we received as a result of the media appeal was crucial in helping us secure the conviction of the two defendants. This has shown the strength of the community in Farnham who not only came to the aid of the victim but who worked with us and gave us information that ultimately helped bring the victim’s attackers to justice.”