A victim who was raped by an acquaintance while she was asleep at an address in north Kent has seen her assailant jailed.
Rhys Cheal LATEST
Rhys Cheal

Kent Police report that on 21 August 2021, a woman was socialising in Gravesend when she met Rhys Cheal who she had known previously. She had planned to go to a female friend’s home at the end of the evening but Cheal, who had been following her around, took the opportunity to escort her to a taxi.

When the woman’s friend went to join her, Cheal dissuaded them stating he would get her home as she was feeling ill. Instead he took her to an address in Longfield. She went to sleep at the house only to wake later on to find Cheal raping her.

The following morning the distressed victim called a friend who collected her. Cheal admitted to his crime over the phone and the victim later reported her ordeal to Kent Police.

Cheal, from Longfield, was arrested on 3 December and subsequently charged with rape. The 26-year-old pleaded not guilty at Woolwich Crown Court and was convicted on Friday 21 June 2024, following a trial. He was sentenced on the same day to four years and six months’ imprisonment. He will also be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.

Detective Constable Stephanie Wilson, of the North Division Rape Investigation Team, said:

‘This man has committed an appalling crime by taking advantage of a vulnerable young woman. Pretending to be concerned for her welfare, he prevented her friends from accompanying her and then took her to an address where he raped her. He is now starting a prison sentence and I would like to commend the victim who bravely reported the crime and then supported our investigation until Cheal was brought to justice.

‘I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to contact us as soon as possible. We have trained officers who will take steps to keep you safe and then act to make sure offenders cannot go on to harm others.’

By Ed

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