Man who raped woman near Catford Bridge Station jailed

A man has been jailed for 12 years for raping a lone woman in Lewisham in an “extremely sinister attack.”

Danut Bulboana “preyed on the vulnerability of a lone woman” near Catford Bridge Station as she made her way home after a night out.

But the victim, a woman in her late 20s, was able to identify the culprit to police on the same night as the attack, despite Bulboana altering his appearance and clothing.

The 21-year-old, of no fixed address, address was sentenced on Tuesday, 17 November at Woolwich Crown Court to a total of 12 years’ imprisonment.

Bulboana was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of attempting to choke at the same court on Monday, 3 August.

The court heard that on August 27, 2019, at approximately 11:30pm, the victim – a woman in her late 20s – was targeted by Bulboana in a wooded area near Catford Bridge Railway Station.

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She had been making her way home after a night out with a friend but became lost after she was dropped off at the wrong destination by a taxi.

The victim recalled suddenly finding herself in an unfamiliar wooded area with an unknown man – later identified as Bulboana.

The attack and rape then took place. She tried to scream but Bulboana stifled her cries by forcing an unknown item or object into her mouth, choking her.

The woman eventually managed to get away from Bulboana and call 999.

Within five minutes of receiving the call, a response team arrived on scene and spoke to the victim who then assisted the officers in trying to locate where the offence took place.

In doing so, they were able to trace Bulboana’s location and, despite altering his appearance by changing his clothing, the woman was able to provide a positive identification and Bulboana was arrested.

Detective Constable Dean Young, who led the investigation, said: “I would like to commend the sheer bravery displayed by the victim who quickly called police after being subjected to a truly horrific ordeal.

“Her actions resulted in a dangerous man being detained by officers within an hour of the attack, and subsequently being sentenced for his crimes.”

Officers from the Met’s South East Safeguarding Team progressed the investigation and were able to charge Bulboana on 25 October 2019, after forensic examinations linked him to the crime.

Detective Constable Young added: “This was a brutal and extremely sinister attack in which Bulboana preyed on the vulnerability of a lone woman at night.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to removing sexual predators from the streets of London and ensuring they are brought to justice.

“Rape and sexual offences often inflict lasting trauma on victims, but I hope that Bulboana’s conviction will help the victim’s recovery process somewhat.

“If you are a victim of a sexual crime, please tell us – you will be supported by specialist officers who are trained to help and guide victims throughout their recovery process.”

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