Man jailed for ‘opportunistic’ rape of woman on Hastings beach

Matthew Taylor was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court after a trial, Sussex Police said.

Anahita Hossein-Pour
Tuesday 29 August 2023 17:00 BST
Matthew Taylor was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court (Sussex Police/PA)
Matthew Taylor was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court (Sussex Police/PA)

A man who “lured” a woman away from a busy pub to Hastings beach and raped her has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

Matthew Taylor, of Clement Hill Road, Hastings, East Sussex, was found guilty of one count of rape after an “appalling, opportunistic attack” on a woman in her 20s, who was new to town and at first believed he was being friendly on a night out on February 12, 2023.

Taylor, 31, a groundsman, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on August 18 after a trial, Sussex Police said.

Claire Gallagher, of CPS South East, said: “This was an appalling opportunistic attack on a woman new to the town, who believed that Taylor was being friendly when he first approached her.

“Instead, he was planning to lure her away from a busy place, so he could force himself on her.

“As soon as they got to the beach his behaviour immediately changed and he started to attack her.

“Despite her repeated protests that she did not consent to any sexual activity with him, Taylor ignored her pleas and subjected her to a traumatic ordeal.”

At Lewes Crown Court, Taylor was added to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

He was cleared of a second charge of rape on the same woman.

Detective Sergeant Elizabeth Pike, from Sussex Police’s safeguarding investigations unit, praised the woman for her “incredible” bravery in coming forward to report the attack and facing Taylor in court for the trial.

“This is sadly something that will stay with her forever, but I hope this sentence will go some way in helping her rebuild her life,” Ms Pike said.

She also praised officers for their response in the case, adding: “His sentencing demonstrates our determination to catch offenders and get justice for victims who come forward to us.

“We take all reports of rape and sexual offences seriously and support is available on the Sussex Police website for victims and survivors.”

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