September 2023

Man jailed for raping woman on Hastings beach

A man has been jailed for the rape of a woman on Hastings beach.

Matthew Taylor, 31, of Clement Hill Road, Hastings, appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Friday 18 August and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after being found guilty of one count of rape following a trial.

He was cleared of a second charge of rape on the same woman.

The court heard that Taylor, a groundsman, was arrested on Monday 13 February following a report that a woman in her 20s had been raped on Hastings beach in the early hours of Sunday 12 February. He was subsequently charged.

The victim, who was not known to Taylor, received support from specially trained officers throughout the trial process.

Taylor was also added to the Sex Offenders’ Register and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £228. The court also imposed an indefinite restraining order for the victim.