CCTV footage shows predator following stranger before raping her in Bridgwater

  • Watch CCTV footage of Alin-Vasile Iercosan following his victim

A woman has spoken out with a 'powerful' personal statement in court as her rapist was sentenced to jail.

In the early hours of Saturday 28 January, Alin-Vasile Iercosan followed his 25-year-old victim as she walked home in Bridgwater.

CCTV footage shows Iercosan keeping his distance before dragging her off the street to carry out the attack in a parking area by Friarn Street.

Iercosan, aged 27 and of Bath Road in Bridgwater, was sentenced to seven years and one month on prison at Taunton Crown Court on 21 April.

In a powerful personal statement to the court, the victim said: "I am here today to try and regain some control after you stole it all from me.

"I'm begging that today will bring me a tiny amount of closure. You will only get so many years in prison but ... no amount of time you get today will ever justify what you did to me."

Iercosan followed the woman as she walked home before dragging her off the street Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

Detective Inspector Hadley Rides, from Operation Soteria Bluestone - the specialist team tackling rape and serious sexual assault, oversaw the investigation. He said: “The CCTV we obtained during our investigation chillingly shows the predatory behaviour of Iercosan.

"He waited on the streets of Bridgwater and deliberately followed and attacked a lone woman.”

“Iercosan admitted his crime at an early stage in the court proceedings due to the overwhelming evidence against him.

"I'd like to acknowledge the joint effort of detectives in my team, working with the neighbourhood policing team, which led to an early identification of the defendant.

“However this man would not now be off our streets had it not been for the strength and determination of this young woman and her continued support of our investigation.

"She stood up in court today and faced the man who attacked her. She has shown herself to be much stronger than Iercosan, who fled the country after the attack to try to evade justice.”

According to Avon and Somerset Police incidents of rape by a stranger, like this case, are extremely rare.

The force said more cases of rape and serious sexual assault offences are committed by someone known to the victim.

An independent sexual violence advisor has supported the woman throughout the investigation and court process. She continues to have access to support services such as counselling to help her recovery.