Milford man jailed for eight years over ‘brutal’ shopping centre rape

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Krystian Kwarta
Krystian Kwarta was jailed for eight years for raping a woman at West Quay shopping centre

A MILFORD man has been jailed for eight years for raping a woman in a “violent, premeditated” attack at a shopping centre.

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Krystian Kwarta (20), of Keyhaven Road, grabbed the 21-year-old victim from behind as she walked to work on Sunday 15th February by West Quay in Southampton, the city’s crown court heard.

After the sentencing, Hampshire police’s DS Claire Ratcliffe said: “This was a premeditated, violent attack on a young woman who was on her way to work.

“It was clear that Kwarta had been waiting in the area before seeing his victim and following her to carry out his brutal attack. “

Kwarta had pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count of assault. He was also told that upon his eventual release he will be subject to a four-year licence period.

The net closed in on Kwarta soon after the attack as officers from Southampton’s Operation Amberstone team analysed extensive CCTV that covered the area of West Quay and identified a man in the area where the rape happened.

The recording showed how shortly before 8am, the man, now known as Kwarta, started following the woman towards the shopping centre. Moments later she was violently attacked and raped.

Having identified the potential suspect, further CCTV analysis led officers to a home in Milford, where Krystian Kwarta was apprehended.

After being questioned, a sample of his DNA was taken which matched DNA left at the scene.

DS Ratcliffe added: “Following a fast-paced investigation by Southampton’s Operation Amberstone team, which shows our determination to find a dangerous offender in the community and ensure justice for the victim, Kwarta was arrested and charged within days of him carrying out his brutal crime.

“The forensic evidence along with the CCTV footage gave Kwarta little option but to enter guilty pleas and I am pleased that we have been able to bring him to justice and avoid this woman having to relive her ordeal in court.”

She praised the victim, saying: “This has understandably been a traumatic time for the victim and I would like to commend her for her bravery and courage in coming forward and reporting what happened.

“I hope that today’s sentence will give her some closure and help her to begin moving forward in her life.

“In cases such as these, we work in partnership with the independent sexual violence advocate service, Yellow Door, to ensure adequate support is available to victims throughout investigations.

“We hope that the strength of this partnership working alongside convictions like this, encourage victims to come forward and report their experiences to us.”

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