Ipswich rapists jailed

TWO IPSWICH men have been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison after they raped a drunk and defenceless woman in a deserted town centre car park.

TWO IPSWICH men have been sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison after they raped a drunk and defenceless woman in a deserted town centre car park.

Paul Tavares, 27, of Nacton Road was given eight years, and Carlos Almeida, 25, of Macauley Road was sentenced to seven years in prison while both have been placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Sentencing the pair yesterday at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court, Judge John Devaux said: “Some time after 3am in the morning of October 24 last year, in a deserted car park at a time when few people were about you raped a woman who was a complete stranger to you.

“She was very drunk indeed, she was not in any position to defend herself. Having raped her, you abandoned her and treated her with complete and utter contempt, this was a very sordid offence indeed.”

He told Almeida his behaviour had been “slightly less repugnant” than that of Tavares.

The pair had met the victim at a taxi rank near the Zest night club and led her to a nearby car park where the assault took place and Tavares stripped her of her trousers and underwear.

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Tavares later claimed the woman had been “gagging for it”, but Almeida denied taking part in any way.

John Farmer, prosecuting, said their 31-year-old victim had been deeply traumatised by the rape, in which she was forced to perform oral sex on both men.

He said her life had changed and she had become nervous around men, suffered nightmares and had trouble sleeping, was tearful and all her friends and family had also been deeply affected by the assault.

Judge Devaux paid tribute to police for an “impressive” piece of detective work in bringing the pair to justice.

Speaking after the case Detective Inspector Stuart McCallum, who led the investigation, said: “I would reserve particular praise, firstly for the victim who was very brave and did very well under extremely trying circumstances.

“And secondly, the CPS case worker, they don't often get the recognition they deserve.

“It was extremely gratifying that the Judge made this observation and praised DS Bernie Morgan, who did a great job, and this was an extremely good piece of police work by the entire investigating team from start to finish.”

One of the convicted men had been traced via DNA records and DI McCallum said this showed what an effective tool this was in detecting crime.

Tavares and Almeida, both of who are originally from Portugal, will have to serve at least half their sentences before they become eligible for consideration for parole, the judge said.

Almeira was in breach of a two month suspended sentence for driving while disqualified, and will now serve that term concurrent with the new sentence.

The court was also told that he had been the recipient of a bone marrow transplant, which appeared to have been unsuccessful, and would require treatment in prison.

Tavares has a previous conviction for a drugs offence, and was already in custody when the trial began.

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