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Prowler sentenced for rape

|News, Sexual offences

A man who targeted a vulnerable woman by offering to help get her home safely has today been jailed for rape.

CCTV showed the defendant Gareth Druce’s behaviour in the hours leading up to the incident, when he had been observing and following lone women.

The victim, who had been drinking, became ill and was struggling to walk. Another man she had met earlier that evening was helping walk her home.

Druce, 33, observed the victim, who was struggling to walk, and the man, who was struggling to keep her on her feet, and used this as an opportunity to offer his help. Upon entering the victim’s property he pocketed her keys, returning a short while later to carry out his attack.

CCTV close to the victim’s home showed the two men leaving her property together, minutes after arriving with the victim. The defendant was then seen returning to the victim’s property alone.

Ceri Ellis-Jones of the CPS said: “There could be no suggestion that the victim would have been in any position to give her consent to sexual activity. The defendant deliberately targeted the victim who was vulnerable and, under the pretence of helping her, was able to enter her property.

“The Police built a strong case against the defendant utilising the CCTV and digital enquiries. By working together, we were able to secure a conviction for the victim”.

Druce was found guilty of rape after a seven-day trial and on 8 April 2024 at Caernarfon Crown Court he was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment with an extended licence period of four years as a dangerous offender.

Druce was also sentenced today to eight months, to be served concurrently, after pleading guilty to sexual assault on another woman two months prior to committing rape.

He was also sentenced to indefinite Notification Requirements, an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and two indefinite Restraining Orders.

Notes to editors

  • Ceri Ellis-Jones is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS Cymru-Wales RASSO unit (Rape and Serious Sexual Offences).
  • Gareth Dilwyn Druce (DOB: 08/05/1990) is from Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales.
  • The Crown Prosecution Service’s national operating model (NOM) was launched across England and Wales on 4 July 2023 in tandem with a police national model.
  • The NOM will step up cultural and operational change right across the CPS by setting a minimum baseline for how adult rape cases are prosecuted.
  • As a result of joint working between prosecutors and police, the CPS is seeing more case referrals and more suspects charged.
  • Communication channels and working relationships between the CPS, police and independent sexual violence advisors (ISVAs) are also seeing marked improvements.

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