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VIDEO: Newquay Man Jailed Over 'Worst Rape Imaginable'

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5:57am 7th August 2014
(Updated 5:57am 7th August 2014)

A Newquay homeless man has been jailed for what has been dubbed 'the worst rape imaginable'

Nicholas Peppiatt has been convicted after a 20 year old student was attacked in the Gannel area in June.

Truro Crown Court heard how the 31 year old raped her, walked her back for her bank card and PIN and then left her at Crantock to wade through the river before she could raise the alarm.

Jurors heard she thought at any moment she could die and was 'beyond terrified'

Detective Sergeant Lyndsey Anning said outside the court: "We are pleased with today's verdict. The judge in his summing up decsribed the horrific predatory nature of this crime. I hope that the sentence handed down today will assist the healing process of the victim."

The court heard how the woman had been with friends in a bar but had walked home alone, without realising Peppiatt had followed her.

The court also heard that, after the attack at his tent, Peppiatt made her walk back, took her card and demanded her PIN number which he later used to withdraw £300 from her account.

She was left near Crantock and had to wade through the Gannel before she could raise the alarm at the nearest house.

At a hearing last month, Peppiatt, whose address was listed in court papers as the United Reform Church, Newquay, pleaded guilty to counts of kidnapping, rape and robbery.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark QC, said: “This is one of the worst cases of rape imaginable.

“In 45 years’ experience of the criminal justice system I have seldom encountered a more appalling sexual crime.”

He added that he considered Peppiatt a danger to the public and passed an extended licence period of six years. That means he will serve at least two thirds of the 14-year sentence and will be subject to licence conditions until 2024.

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Inspector Dave Meredith is in charge of policing in Newquay and praised the officers involved in the case for catching Peppiatt and bringing him to court so quickly. He said: "It is an horrific offence and it has had a big impact on the local community. This type of offence is exceptionally rare. In my 21 years in the police service I have no memory either of dealing with or just knowledge of anything of this gravity.
"It is reassuring that the offender was arrested very, very quickly."
Rachel Griffin from personal safety charity the Suzy Lamplugh Trust said: "Obviously the impact on the victim herself is considerable but it's also worth bearing in mind that, when something like this happens, the whole community can be very worried about their personal safety when they're out and about.
"What's really important to bear in mind is that these incidents are, fortunately, very, very rare. It's important not to let the fear of crime intimidate you and stop you living your life to the full.
"Our advice is always to live life to the full, but to live life safe."

Three Things You Can Do To Stay Safe

Scream - Attackers do not want attention. Make as much noise as possible to alert people around you. Think about buying an attack alarm if you are worried.

Run - Get away from the attacker. Always run towards other people and busy areas. Do not head for anywhere isolated or down an alley. The attacker will want you to be alone.

Distract - Do something that distracts the attacker to allow you to get away. That might include stamping on their foot or kicking their shins. If you are worried think about having self-defence lessons.
5:57am 7th August 2014

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