Sex offender who repeatedly raped unconscious woman until passer-by intervened jailed

Aurel Birlan, 44, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court earlier today

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A sex offender who raped a woman while she lay unconscious has been sentenced to life in prison.

Aurel Birlan, 44, of Watts Street in Chatham, Kent, repeatedly assaulted his victim over the space of almost two hours and only stopped when he was challenged by a passer-by.

Birlan committed the assaults during the early hours of one morning in December last year, when he was interrupted by a stranger who had seen him and his victim in a public place.

Aurel Birlan
Aurel Birlan
Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

The man noticed she was in a state of undress, was not moving and appeared to be injured.

He questioned Birlan about what had happened, before calling 999 and waiting with both the offender and victim until police arrived.

Birlan was arrested at the scene and a police investigation recovered CCTV which showed the victim’s repeated pleas for him to stop, and which also showed she was unconscious for more than an hour during the assaults.

He was charged with two counts of rape, and three counts of sexual assault.

Birlan pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday. He was ordered to serve a minimum of eight years and three months before he is eligible to be considered for parole.

He was also added to the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject of a restraining order, prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Kendal Moore from Kent Police, said: “Birlan subjected his victim to a prolonged and truly harrowing ordeal, only stopping when a passer-by bravely intervened.

“Today’s sentence will hopefully go some way to allowing the victim to live a normal life, knowing at least this dangerous man is now behind bars. She has shown tremendous dignity and bravery throughout the course of this investigation and I wish to commend her for that.

“I would also like to thank the member of public who challenged Birlan. His courageous intervention was absolutely vital in ensuring Birlan was promptly arrested and that the victim was also protected from suffering any further harm.”