Police praise Bristol Post for helping jail rapist

Police today praised the Bristol Post after the newspaper helped catch a teenage girl's rapist who challenged officers to "come and find me".

Matthew White taunted officers who rang the victim’s phone shortly after the attack on 25 August, 2012.

The 34-year-old rapist picked up his victim outside the Oceana nightclub in Bristol.

The 19-year-old victim had been separated from her friends and White said he’d bring her back to her hotel.

Instead he took her to his own home where he raped her.

The teenager escaped wearing just a pair of boxer shorts and managed to flag-down a passer-by who contacted police.

Bristol Crown Court heard that officers rang the victim’s phone after she told them she had left it behind at her attacker's home.

Answering the mobile, White said: “If you're the police, come and find me."

The victim did not know where White lived, but investigators secured CCTV footage (above) from outside the club and asked the Bristol Post to publish the images.

Recognising himself from the images, White handed himself in to the police.

White, of Witcombe, Yate, South Gloucestershire was convicted of rape and attempted rape and was jailed for six years. He was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.  

Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told White he had taken "total advantage" of the victim for his "own sexual gratification".

"At 2am on that Saturday morning, in drink, you were, on your own admission, hoping to 'pull a girl'.

"You came upon your victim, who you had never met before. She was 19 years old at the time, in Bristol to celebrate her 20th birthday.

"She was separated from her friend, she was worse for drink, and undoubtedly vulnerable.

"Somehow you persuaded her to come back to your room and, on the jury's verdict, there you raped her and you attempted to rape her.

"You tore off her dress and you took total advantage of her for your own sexual gratification.

"When she appreciated fully the situation she ran from your home in the middle of the night wearing only a pair of boxer shorts and sought help from strangers."

White was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Pushpanjali Gohil, defending White, said her client had still not admitted the offences, despite the jury finding him guilty.

She said: "This is an extremely difficult time for him.

"This prison sentence is going to have a tremendous impact on him."

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Alan Smith, who led the investigation, said inquiries into White would be continuing.

"I would like to praise the courage of the victim for making the initial complaint and then supporting our case throughout," he said.

"I hope her bravery gives other victims of rape and sexual assault the confidence to come forward and report crimes to us.

"During the course of our inquiries, we managed to obtain CCTV images of White and publish them. When he saw the images of himself in the Bristol Post he was left with no choice but to hand himself in.

"I would like to thank the Bristol Post and all the media organisations which published the CCTV images for their assistance with this inquiry.

"During police interviews and throughout his defence case, White tried to claim they had consensual sex, but the evidence was too strong and the jury saw through his excuses and have convicted him of both counts."

Dc Smith added: "We are continuing with our inquiries into Matthew White and would like to speak to anyone who has been affected by this case.

"I would particularly like to speak to a woman who may have left a mobile phone at White's home in Gordon Road, Clifton, after spending time there."

 

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