A man who raped an 18-year-old woman down an alleyway in Norwich was told by a judge that he posed a “high risk” of harm to the public.

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Lewis Edwards, 29, met the victim, who was upset after having an argument with her boyfriend, late at night in Magdalen Street, in Norwich, and after striking up a conversation with her and asking for a cigarette he then forced her to go with him down a nearby alleyway where he raped her, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Edwards of William Kett Close, Norwich, at first denied raping the victim, in June, this year, but part-way through his trial he changed his plea to guilty, but only after both the victim and her boyfriend had been through the ordeal of giving their evidence in court.

After reading pre-sentence and psychiatric reports which put Edwards as being of “high risk” to the public, Recorder Katharine Moore jailed him for the protection of the public and imposed an indeterminate sentence under which he will not be released until the parole board feels he no longer poses a danger.

The earliest he will be considered for release is after he has served 45 months and he was also placed on the sex offenders register for life and banned from working with children.

Recorder Moore told him that he had raped a stranger he had met who was 18, vulnerable and upset. and although he had not used force he had “created an air of menace” to make her comply.

“She felt threatened. She was alone and vulnerable.”

She said although he had eventually pleaded guilty it was part way through his trial after both the victim and her boyfriend had given evidence and been cross-examined.

Recorder Moore said the victim said the experience was “like being raped again.”

However she gave Edwards some limited credit that he did eventually plead guilty to the rape.

As he was led away, a smiling Edwards shouted to the court: “See you later”.

Andrew Oliver, for Edwards, said that although he had previous convictions he had nothing in his record for any other such serious matters.

He said that he also deserved some credit for his plea.

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