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Man convicted of raping complete stranger in Hastings

|News, Sexual offences

A man has been convicted of the rape of a complete stranger he met in Hastings town centre on a night out. 

Matthew Taylor, 31, lured his victim away from a busy pub to the beach before attacking her in February 2023. Despite making it clear that she did not want to have sex with him, he pinned her down and raped her. 

She eventually managed to get away and immediately reported what had happened to the police. 

Claire Gallagher from 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.

“We would like to thank the victim in this case for coming forward and reporting this devastating crime, so that we were able to ensure her attacker was brought to justice.” 

Notes to editors

  • Matthew Taylor [DOB: 01/07/1992] was convicted of one count of rape on 16 August 2023 following a trial at Lewes Crown Court. He is to be sentenced at the same court on Friday 18 August 2023. 
  • Claire Gallagher is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East.  
  • The Crown Prosecution Service’s new national operating model for adult rape prosecution was rolled out in England and Wales in tandem with police on 10 July 2023 as the next stage of a commitment to drive up the number of cases taken to court and improve victim experiences.
  • The model will drive cultural and operational change right across the CPS by setting an improved and standardised approach for how all adult rape cases are handled.

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