May 2023

Man jailed for raping two vulnerable women

A man who raped two vulnerable women in public has been jailed for 21 years.

Ion Gheorghe Tanasie, 40, of Pound Farm Road, Chichester, has been condemned for the “brutal” attacks, and informed he must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence.

He was convicted of 10 offences in the town after a jury reached its verdict at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday 24 February.

The first incident occurred on the evening of 24 July last year, when Tanasie raped a woman within the grounds of St Paul’s Church.

Following the ordeal, the victim was able to make her way back towards the town centre, where she bumped into some friends who reported it to police.

From examination of the woman’s clothes, Tanasie was nominated as the suspect. While there was no trace of him on the UK DNA database, he was identified through checks with Interpol.

As enquiries continued, police received a report of another rape on the evening of 19 September last year in The Hornet.

Again, the woman was able to report the incident shortly after it occurred.

Following a CCTV trawl of the area, Tanasie was identified as the suspect.

Within days he was located and arrested, and charged with the following offences for the first incident: rape, sexual assault, and two counts of assault by penetration.

He was also charged with the following offences for the second incident: rape, attempted rape, assault by penetration, causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, and two counts of sexual assault.

By this time, detectives had linked the two cases and Tanasie was therefore remanded in custody to prevent further offending and to protect the public from harm.

He denied the offences and the case went for trial, where he was found guilty by jury of all 10 charges against him.

He was remanded in custody and appeared before Salisbury Crown Court on Wednesday 17 May, where he was sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by six years on licence.

Passing sentencing, Her Honour Judge Evans KC said Tanasie’s actions were “brutal, callous and cruel”, and “stimulated by the pain and cruelty of his behaviour”.

She added: “Both women were vulnerable and you took advantage to abuse them, and the effects were devastating, with huge psychological impacts on both women.”