A man who was convicted of raping an 18-year-old university student in an alleyway as she walked home has been jailed for 13 years.
Gheorge Bertlef, 31, from Exeter, Devon, attacked the teenager as she walked home from a club at 2.40am on November 13 last year, Exeter Crown Court heard.
Bertlef, who had spent weeks prior to the attack walking around Exeter at night looking for lone women, was jailed for 13 years after a judge told him he was a ‘dangerous man’ who posed a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public.
Gheorge Bertlef, 31, from Exeter, Devon, was jailed for 13 years after a judge told him he was a ‘dangerous man’ who posed a significant risk of causing serious harm to members of the public
On the night of the attack, jurors heard how Bertlef, who was employed as a Royal Mail worker at the time, waited until the 18-year-old was had separated from her friends before approaching her and saying: ‘Hello, you are beautiful.’
The victim described how she ‘shut down a bit and behaved like a robot’ as Bertlef dragged her into an alleyway and carried out his attack.
When he left the alleyway Bertlef said ‘thank you’ and left the area.
He was arrested eight days later when police found him stalking another woman through the city.
Judge Robert Linford told him: ‘You are a dangerous man and pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to members of the public.’
During the trial, Bertlef, who went on to work as an Amazon delivery driver, gave ‘chilling’ evidence describing how he had gone out that night with the intention of finding a lone woman to have sex with.
He later told police: ‘I would regularly walk around the streets in the early hours of the night hoping to meet females.’
Bertlef denied rape and attempted rape but was found guilty by a jury in September.
Judge Linford also rejected Bertlef’s claim that he ‘felt intimidated by women in the day’ which was why he roamed the streets at night in the hope of finding a woman.
Jurors at Exeter Crown Court heard how Bertlef had spent weeks prior to the attack walking around Exeter at night looking for a lone women
He said Bertlef ‘did not want a girlfriend, you wanted sex, sex no matter what the wishes of whoever it was you met’ and said it was a ‘well planned exercise to find lone women to rape’.
During the trial, the victim told the judge that she still suffered flashbacks and had ‘sporadic nightmares’ following the attack last year, saying: ‘The events of this night will never leave me.’
She told him she was afraid to go to sleep and to go out at night saying: ‘My world has become very small.’
Bertleft, who is originally from Romania, will be deported when he has served his 13-year jail term.
Fiona Elder, defending, said Bertlef was a ‘quiet reclusive character’ who had no previous convictions and no violence had been used.