Rapist, 29, attacked woman in a service road

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A RAPIST is beginning a nine-year jail sentence after attacking a young woman.

Lee Matthews, 29, approached the woman, in her 20s, while she was walking alone along Canada Grove, Bognor, in the early hours of July 7, last year.

Chichester Crown Court heard he offered to walk her home then told her there was a party at a house by the tennis courts near Norfolk Square and invited her along.

As they walked down a service road to the tennis courts, he pulled her to the ground and raped her.

Unemployed Matthews, of Richmond Avenue, Bognor, who was arrested within a few days of the attack, was convicted following a seven-day trial and jailed for nine years.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life and on licence for a further six years after his release.

Detective Constable David Midgley said: ‘This case is particularly nasty in that Matthews obtained the victim’s trust by offering to walk her home.

‘He then took advantage of this trust by luring her to a service road under the pretence there was a party there.

‘However, the victim contacted us on the same day and specially trained officers assisted her. This led us securing the early evidence which led to Matthews being arrested and ultimately convicted.’

He added: ‘In this case the early reporting was a crucial factor in helping us gather the evidence.’