David Gordon Howse, aged 33, of The Quadrangle pleaded guilty to raping a 24-year-old woman at some stage between 11.30pm on Tuesday 8 January and the early hours of Wednesday 9 January 2019.
The woman was walking in Beaulieu Road before cutting through an alleyway into a car park area between Beaulieu Road and Selbourne Drive. Here she was approached by Howse, who then followed her into an alleyway in Whyteways where he raped her.
Detectives investigating the rape arrested Howse in late December 2019, after police enquiries identified him as the offender, and charged him in July 2020.
Today, Howse has been sentenced to seven years in prison. He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Gareth Jones of Hampshire Constabulary’s Amberstone team, said: “This was a truly harrowing crime resulting in Howse attacking a vulnerable woman late at night, in a place where she should feel safe to walk home without fear of being sexually attacked.
“Today, I would like to pay tribute to the victim for the courage that she has shown throughout the investigation; we understand it is not always easy for victims to have to re-live an already terrifying ordeal. I would also like to say thank you to the self-less woman who came to the victim’s aid after she sensed something was wrong and intervened.
“The investigators on the case, who form part of our specialist Amberstone unit which handle cases such as these, showed great tenacity in getting us to this point. It was a difficult and complex investigation, but our officers worked night and day on lots of different lines of enquiries, with the ongoing support of the victim; allowing us to identify Howse as the man responsible.
“Hampshire Constabulary is dedicated to getting justice for victims and ensuring Eastleigh is a safe place to live.
“I hope this sentence today goes someway to giving the woman closure and reassures her, and the communities in Hampshire, that justice has been served.”