Eastleigh man jailed seven years for alleyway rape

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image copyrightHampshire Constabulary
image captionPolice said Howse committed a "truly harrowing crime"

A man has been jailed for seven years for raping a woman in an alleyway.

David Gordon Howse, 33, of The Quadrangle in Eastleigh, Hampshire, pleaded guilty at Southampton Crown Court to attacking the 24-year-old.

On the night of 8 January 2019 he followed her into an alley in Whyteways, Eastleigh, where the rape took place.

Det Insp Gareth Jones of Hampshire Constabulary called it a "truly harrowing crime".

Police said the woman was walking in Beaulieu Road and cut through an alleyway into a car park between Beaulieu Road and Selbourne Drive.

She was then approached by Howse, who followed her into the alleyway in Whyteways.

He was identified as the offender and arrested in December 2019, before being charged the following July, police said.

image captionThe woman walked through an alleyway into Whyteways where the offence happened

Following the sentencing, Det Insp Jones said it had been a "difficult and complex investigation".

He said Howse had attacked a "vulnerable woman late at night, in a place where she should feel safe to walk home without fear of being sexually attacked".

He added: "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 relive an already terrifying ordeal.

"I would also like to say thank you to the selfless woman who came to the victim's aid after she sensed something was wrong and intervened."

He said he hoped the sentence went "someway to giving the woman closure and reassures her, and the communities in Hampshire, that justice has been served".

Howse has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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