Rapist who assaulted unconscious victim for more than an hour jailed for life

Aurel Birlan only stopped the assault on his victim when he was challenged by a passer-by.

Aurel Birlan (Handout/PA)
Aurel Birlan (Handout/PA)

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.

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.

Birlan subjected his victim to a prolonged and truly harrowing ordeal, only stopping when a passer-by bravely intervened

DS Kendal Moore

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.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in