A man has been jailed for six years and nine months after pleading guilty to raping and assaulting a woman in Hatfield town centre.

Stefan Keleman, aged 46, of Campion Road in Hatfield, appeared for sentencing at St Albans Crown Court on Monday (13 November).

In addition to the custodial sentence, he was handed a restraining order and placed on the sex offenders register for life. When he completes his prison sentence, he will be deported to Romania.

At around 11.30pm on Sunday 18 June this year, Keleman was involved in a brief conversation with a woman in Asda car park. Keleman followed the woman into the town centre and he punched her in the back of the head before pinning her to the ground.

He then proceeded to rape her and only stopped when a police officer arrived.

Detective Constable Jarl Thomason, from the constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: “Keleman is a vile individual who thought nothing of raping a stranger he had just briefly met. During the attack he continued assaulting the victim by hitting, punching and biting her.

“This was a horrific ordeal for the victim and I want to pay tribute to her resilience throughout the court case. I hope the result provides some sense of justice.

“I would also like to thank a local resident who saw what was happening and immediately called the police. Thankfully incidents like this are rare in Hertfordshire but that does not detract from the trauma that the victim will now have to live with for the rest of her life.

“We are determined to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls and I hope the news of this prison sentence provides reassurance to the public that we are committed to that pledge.”

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support. The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them. This service is open to everyone – men, women and young people, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. To contact Herts SARC, call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email (opens in a new window) or visit Herts SARC website (opens in a new window)

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