Nine-year jail sentence for man who raped 22-year-old on footbridge

John Horne has been sentenced to nine years in jail

A man has been sentenced to nine years for the violent rape of a 22-year-old woman in Fareham.

John Horne, of Broadacre Place in Fareham, carried out the attack on a footbridge near the town's railway station in the early hours of 19 March, after the woman had left the Slug and Lettuce pub following an evening out with friends.

He threatened her with violence before assaulting and then raping her. He ran off, leaving her in a distressed state to be found by a member of the public who called the police.

Horne, 39, who didn't know his victim, was arrested a couple of weeks later, after he was identified on CCTV footage.

The footbridge where the rape took place

The footage showed him walking past the town's fire station towards a small alleyway, and in an Aldi supermarket on West Street.

At an earlier hearing Horne pleaded guilty to rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and he was sentenced today at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Roger Wood said: "We spent hours and hours combing the streets, scoping for CCTV and then trawling it, reviewing it, watching it meticulously so that eventually we could obtain his full movements on the evening and place him directly in the crime scene."

Hampshire Police has a dedicated team to investigate rape.

The attack happened here on March 19 this year

"We will throw extra resources into an investigation like this and in this case that's what we did.

"We worked round the clock for those two weeks, following all lines of inquiry and luckily for us we were able to get a breakthrough."

DCI Wood paid tribute to the victim, saying she has been incredibly brave and courageous, and that it was with her help they were able to identify the man who attacked her.

"Considering she had gone though such a traumatic incident she provided key details that really helped us understand the sort of individual we were looking for."

Andrea Hills, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “John Horne initially denied any involvement in this dreadful attack, but soon changed his story when confronted by the overwhelming evidence gathered during the police investigation.

“The victim has shown incredible courage and bravery for supporting the prosecution of a stranger who attacked her in such shocking circumstances.

“I hope that today’s sentence will go some way to help her recover from the horrendous ordeal and trauma she has experienced.

“I would like to thank her for supporting the prosecution case. Without the victim’s evidence, we would not have been able to deliver justice today and keep a dangerous rapist off the streets.”