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A 25-year-old man who raped a woman after breaking into her home in Warrington has been jailed.
Petrus-Ionut Apostoae, of Gorsey Lane, Warrington, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today, Friday 3 February, where he was sentenced to 14 years and eight months imprisonment.
He was also handed an indefinite restraining order.
The sentencing follows Apostoae’s appearance at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday 4 January, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of burglary, three counts of attempted burglary and to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.
The court heard that how, in the early hours of Sunday 2 October 2022, Apostoae gained access to a house on Orford Lane, stealing a number of items from inside the property and leaving them in an alleyway nearby.
Apostoae then went back inside the house and raped the woman as she slept in bed.
A manhunt was launched on 2 October by Cheshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team, with specially trained officers being deployed to the streets of Warrington.
This manhunt included extensive media appeals which depicted footage of Apostoae carrying the victim’s stolen suitcase shortly after the attack.
While enquiries were ongoing, the victim was alerted to a notification from a doorbell camera that a man had tried to enter her property, along with several other properties nearby.
It was later confirmed that the man on the footage was Apostoae - who had returned to the victim’s address and attempted to gain entry for the second time, just six weeks after raping her.
The breakthrough in the investigation came after the officers undertook voluntary DNA testing in the local area, with hundreds of people agreeing to be tested – Apostoae being one of them.
It was this sample which directly linked Apostoae to the abhorrent crime.
He was swiftly arrested and subsequently charged with rape and other offences.
Detective Inspector Nigel Parr, who led the investigation said: “This case shook the community of Warrington to its core but I hope that this sentence today shows justice has been served.
“At the hands of Apostoae, the victim was subjected to an utterly horrendous ordeal which she will now have to live with for the rest of her life and no sentence will be able to change that.
“But it is thanks to her courage and determination that we were able to gather the very best evidence to achieve this result today.
"The evidence gathered during this investigation, particularly the DNA sample, proved vital in Apostoae’s prosecution and left him with no option but to plead guilty to the charges against him.”
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, or know of someone who has, please call us on 101 or visit the Cheshire Police website.
Information can also be reported anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.