A 52-year-old man from Stevenage has been jailed for more than five years after he raped a woman at his Old Town flat almost three years ago.

Moses Chowdhury, from High Street, was sentenced to five and a half years behind bars at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday, September 2.

His victim, who was in her late teens at the time, had been out with friends on the night of the incident in October 2017.

She met Chowdhury in the Old Town area and he invited her back to his nearby flat.

A short while later, the occupants of the property below began to hear banging and screaming coming from above.

They went upstairs to investigate and discovered the victim screaming from behind a closed bedroom door.

One of them went into the room and the victim disclosed to her that Chowdhury had raped her.

Police were called and Chowdhury was arrested.

As a result of investigations by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT), Chowdhury was charged with rape and found guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on August 20.

Detective Constable Steve Cook, who led the investigation, said: “Chowdhury’s actions on the night in question were absolutely appalling. He took advantage of a young woman who was not in a position to consent to any sexual contact. Instead of making sure she was safe, he prayed on her vulnerable nature for his own gain.

“I want to commend the victim for the bravery and integrity she has shown throughout.

“This has been a terrifying ordeal for her but I hope this sentence gives at least some small sense of comfort and closure.”

Detective Inspector Mike Hanson, from SOIT, said: “This case shows that we take all reports of sexual assault seriously, whatever the circumstances, and will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

“It is vital to remember that anyone, male or female, who is incapacitated as a result of drinking alcohol cannot consent to sex. Therefore, sex with them is rape. If you do become a victim, there is a range of help and support available, including from organisations outside of the police.

“We are aware of cases in recent months where people have been sexually assaulted, but have been afraid to report this to police, for fear of reprisals around breaching government lockdown regulations. Please do not worry, our primary focus is to support victims and to provide help and support, so do not hesitate to come forward.”

For more information on the resources available for the reporting of sexual assault, visit herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/Advice/Rape-and-sexual-assault/Reporting-sexual-assault