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Rapist convicted of King's Lynn sex attack facing "substantial" sentence

PUBLISHED: 17:13 19 July 2019

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A rapist convicted of attacking a woman in King's Lynn as she was walking home alone is facing a "substantial" jail term.

The woman was walking on her own after an argument with her boyfriend when she was approached by Gareth Thorpe, 38, who raped her in an alleyway near Highgate Infant School, on Gaywood Road, despite her repeatedly telling him no.

The woman, who was 22 at the time, did not have a full recollection of events because she had been drinking but said Thorpe had pulled her tights down and raped her.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court took just over three and half hours to find Thorpe guilty following a trial.

Thorpe, of James Scott Close, Downham Market, had denied raping the woman in the early hours of January 27 last year.

When the verdict was returned Thorpe stormed out of the dock banging on the door leading to the cells. 
Judge Andrew Shaw adjourned sentence until September 6 and said that he wanted a report to assess the danger Thorpe posed and his future risk to the public.

He said that Thorpe had a number of previous convictions, with 52 court appearances for 116 offences.

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He said although he had previous convictions for violence there were no convictions for any sexual matters.

Judge Shaw thanked the jury and said it had been a "challenging" case.

He said Thorpe would be facing a "substantial" sentence.

During the trial prosecutor Marc Brown said Thorpe had been a complete stranger to the victim.

He said that she had told him a number of times to leave her alone but he had gone on to rape her.

He said she could recall running away after the attack and then waking up in hospital with cuts and bruising as well as a broken tooth. Her tights had also been ripped.

He said: "She was in quite a state."

Mr Brown said when Thorpe was arrested near the scene he tried to claim he had done nothing wrong and the sex had been consensual.

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