Northern Ireland

Gang rapist Florin Muntean given seven-year sentence

Craigavon Magistrates' Court
Image caption Craigavon Crown Court

A man who was part of a gang which raped a woman has been jailed for seven years.

Florin Muntean, 27, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry Prison, pleaded guilty to a single count of rape.

Craigavon Crown Court was told the attack by Muntean and three others had devastated the victim's life.

Muntean, a Romanian national, will spend half of the sentence in prison and the rest on licence.

Three other defendants, Florin Cirpaci, 37, Ioan Lacatus, 28, and Aurel Teglas, 24, all with addresses in the Portadown area, were handed sentences totalling 16 years in May last year after they pleaded guilty to conspiring with Muntean to commit rape.

Muntean fled Northern Ireland after the attack but was brought back last summer .

The court was told the victim, who was a 22-year-old student when she was attacked, met the defendants at a bar in Portadown and although she remembers being there, her "next memory" is waking up in a bedroom being raped.

Rehearsing the facts of the case, Judge Donna McColgan said: "There were two men present - one was raping her and the other was watching," adding that when the first man finished, the second male tried to force her to perform a sex act before raping her.

"She kept blanking in and out and attempted to get the first male to stop by asking him to stop and telling him that he was hurting her," Judge McColgan added.

Despite the woman's protests, the man continued raping her.

Fled the country

When the second attacker was finished, the victim's phone, bag and shoes were handed back her and she ran from the house.

Three days later police searched the house where she was raped.

They found Muntean there and took a DNA sample from him, but did not arrest him. He fled the country a short time later.

CCTV footage from the bar "clearly showed" the victim with Lacatus and leaving with all four men at 01:40, while cell site analysis placed them all at the house until about 03:30.

Suicide attempts

Judge McColgan said while Muntean had pleaded guilty, albeit very close to his trial, the evidence against him was "very strong" given the DNA profile taken from Muntean matched intimate swabs taken from the victim, coupled with CCTV and mobile phone site analysis.

The judge said there were numerous aggravating factors, including the fact the victim was raped by two or more people acting together, had been held against her will and that the attack has had a "serious impact" on her life.

The court was told she suffers from anorexia and PTSD and has made three attempts to take her own life.

Muntean is to remain on the police sex offenders register "for the rest of his life" and will be deported after his release.

The other three defendants have already been deported.

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