Teenager jailed for Lowestoft seafront rape

PUBLISHED: 11:46 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 06 July 2010

A teenager who raped an "extremely vulnerable" woman in a seaside shelter in Suffolk has been sentenced to five years in prison.

A teenager who raped an “extremely vulnerable” woman in a seaside shelter in Suffolk has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Bruno Carvalho, of Market Road, Great Yarmouth, broke down in tears as a jury returned unanimous verdicts at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

The 19-year-old was found guilty of rape and attempted rape in Lowestoft in April this year.

Suffolk police has welcomed the conviction, which was the first to be brought by officers in the north-east of the county under Operation Gemini, a new strategy for rape cases which focuses on victim care.

The trial heard that Carvalho had seen the woman having sex with one of his friends on the seats in the shelter, but denied that he wanted “some of what he had had”.

When the pair had finished having sex, Carvalho said the woman kissed and hugged him while his friend was on his mobile phone.

He claimed the victim agreed to perform a sex act on him, but told her to stop because she was drunk and didn't want to take advantage of her.

However, Detective Inspector Darrell Skuse, of Suffolk police, said the woman had been “extremely vulnerable” because she had consumed alcohol and had left her friends on a night out.

He added: “The offence was investigated by specialist officers who are dedicated to dealing with allegations of rape and other serious sexual offences.

“This conviction is testament to their efforts, those of the officers who initially responded and those who dealt with the victim in the early stages.”

Sentencing Carvalho, Judge Peter Fenn said the attack had left the victim with a lack of self confidence and feeling uncomfortable about going out.

Carvalho, who denied the charges, was handed a five-year prison term and must sign the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

Judge Fenn thanked the jury for their contribution to what he described as a very difficult case.

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