'Dangerous' Gloucestershire man guilty of raping woman he met online

200923 Matthew Dickens Gloucestershire Police
Matthew Dickens will be sentenced on 12 October. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

A man from Gloucestershire has been found guilty of raping a woman he met online.

Matthew Dickens, aged 25, was convicted on 15 September after a five-day trial at Gloucester Crown Court.

The court heard that Dickens first contacted the woman via an online messaging app and then met up with her in 2020.

After meeting the victim and one of her friends, they went to a bar - and later Dickens went to the woman's home with her.

The victim could could not recall how she became undressed but recounted how Dickens then went on to rape her twice and hold her throat.

Dickens, of Greet Road in Winchcombe, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape against the same woman relating to an incident in 2020.

Gloucestershire Police officers paid tribute to the victim's "bravery and determination" as she gave evidence in court.

Detective Constable Rob Brown said: "Dickens subjected the victim to a terrifying ordeal that will deeply impact her for the rest of her life.

"He then compounded his crimes by pleading not guilty and claiming this was a consensual act, meaning the victim had to go through the trial process.

"I want to commend her bravery and determination to carry on supporting the case when it would have been understandable if she had decided not to put herself through it."

It took the jury less than two hours to decide on the guilty verdict.

DC Brown added: "In the process a dangerous individual has now been convicted at court and, potentially, prevented from wrecking other people’s lives.

"My message to anyone else who is a rape victim who is worried about coming forward is that you will be believed and that the criminal justice system is beginning to change.

"Please do report what has happened to you. We are transforming the way that the CPS and police handle rape and sexual assault cases, and are working together to ensure that victims are supported throughout the prosecution process."

Dickens has been bailed until his sentencing on 12 October.

Gloucestershire Police encourages any victim of a sexual assault to report it here.