A former Stevenage shopkeeper has been jailed for four years after raping a teenager at a hotel.

Emrah Demirci, of Windmill Road, Cheshunt, was put behind bars after appearing at St Albans Crown Court today (Friday, April 14).

The 43-year-old previously ran The Oval Wine, where he met his victim, a 18-year-old woman, back in 2019. He would then rape her at a hotel in Hertfordshire.

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He has also been placed on the sex offenders register for life and was handed an indefinite restraining order against contacting the victim.

Detective Constable Vicky Draper, of the Op HALO team, said: “Demirci took advantage of a vulnerable teenager for his own gain and will now have to face the consequences for his actions.

“I’d like to highlight the victim’s courage throughout the process and hope this result will enable her to have closure, so she can move forward with her life.

“The HALO team works tirelessly to bring sexual predators to justice.

“We will always do everything we can to convict perpetrators and support victims of sexual abuse.

“While we’re pleased to have achieved this result, it does not lessen the effect of the trauma suffered by the victim.”

The Oval Wine could also lose its premises licence, with Demici believed to have breached four objectives – including the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of children.

Police claim the licensee failed to adhere to "public safety", "protection of children from harm" and "prevention of public nuisance" licensing objectives as a result of the rape conviction.

Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team seized "illicit" goods from the store in October 2019 and March 2021 as part of an operation – called "CeCe".

In 2019, the authority received 940 cigarettes and 1.15kg of hand-rolling tobacco which they believed to be counterfeit, which was sent off for examination.

In 2021, the county council seized 128 Lost Mary disposable vapes and 225 Elux disposable devices, among other items.

Councillors will have the power to revoke the premises licence for The Oval Wine at their April 19 hearing.

An earlier version of this article stated in error that the victim was 16 years old, rather than 18, and that Demirci was the current licence holder at The Oval Wine​.