'I feel completely damaged' – Victim speaks as rapist jailed for 'hideous' attack
PUBLISHED: 17:50 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:50 23 July 2018
A rapist who tried changing his appearance to evade justice has been locked up for viciously attacking a teenage girl.
Marian Pavel, 28, of Cavendish Way, Sudbury, shaved his beard and asked housemates to cut his hair in an attempt to disguise his identity after raping and sexually assaulting the 18-year-old as she walked home from a night out.
The attack only ended when the victim cried for help from two passers-by.
Prosecutor Christopher Paxton told Ipswich Crown Court she had consumed a single alcohol drink with friends before heading home in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday, May 28 – around the time Pavel walked to his own address with two others.
Instead of entering the property, he followed a stranger to grassland between First Avenue and Second Avenue – grabbing her from behind and forcing her to the ground.
Pavel was arrested based on a description and CCTV identification. He entered no plea during a first court appearance – after housemates had already refuted his claim of being at home when the attack took place – but made admissions at a pre-trial hearing on July 4.
In mitigation, Stephen Dyble said Pavel was a man of previously good character in his native Romania and in the UK.
“He pleaded guilty at a very early stage, before any forensic evidence was learned,” added Mr Dyble, who said Pavel had not “trawled for a victim” or used sophisticated planning.
Sentencing Pavel, Her Honour Judge Emma Peters said: “Women on the streets of this county should be safe, whatever time of day they walk home, and without falling victim to such hideous and vicious sexual offences.
“What you did not only had a significant impact on this lady, but others who will think twice before going out and walking home.
“While you committed these offences, she asked if you were going to kill her, and you said yes, you were. It’s hard to contemplate how brave she was to then say ‘I’ll let you have sex with me; just don’t kill me’.”
Judge Peters said Pavel’s actions had, in fact, shown planning and a denial of guilt.
“This was a hideous crime on a blameless young woman, who did nothing but have the grave misfortune to encounter you”, said the judge, sentencing Pavel to 12 years’ imprisonment and life on the sex offenders register.
In an impact statement, the victim said she had been plagued by “extremely bad” panic-inducing nightmares since being raped and sexually assaulted by Pavel.
“They’re so real, it’s like I’m reliving what happened to me,” Ipswich Crown Court heard, as prosecutor Mr Paxton read from the statement before sentencing.
“I only sleep by knocking myself out with sleeping tablets.
“I’m too scared to have the bedroom window open or be left alone at home.
“I feel completely numb all the time.
“I feel bad when I go out and allow myself to have fun.
“I actually thought I was going to die.
“It makes me feel sick to the stomach.”
The victim said she had taken an overdose in an attempt to end her life – something she had never before attempted, having previously been in a “happy place”.
“Now, I feel when I walk down the street, that people are looking at me,” she added.
“I feel scared the entire time. I will never be able to walk in the dark anymore.
“He has ruined my life forever. I feel completely damaged.
“The thought of doing anything sexual makes me feel completely sick. I don’t feel anyone would want me anyway.
“I want to change my appearance so I don’t see a girl who has been raped looking back at me in the mirror.
“The shadow of what he did will be forever hanging over me.”
Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Stuart Chapman said: “I can only describe this as an awful and appalling attack carried out by Pavel.
“While the victim was walking home, it is evident that Pavel followed her for a distance before attacking her in such a cruel way, leading the victim to truly believe that she would die.
“The victim has been so brave and courageous throughout this investigation but, understandably, Pavel’s actions have had a significant impact.
“I am pleased with the sentence today and hope this will go some way in helping the victim, following the trauma and distress she has endured, and I would like to thank all those people who have assisted the police with this investigation to ensure this was successfully brought to court.”