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15-year sentence for rape of woman befriended in Crawley nightclub

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A Worthing man is starting a 15-year extended prison sentence for the rape of a woman he had befriended.

David Jani, 45, a care assistant, of Shelley Road, Worthing, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (19 March) having been convicted of raping the 25-year-old woman at his flat on the night of 13-14 August 2019.

He was given a custodial term of 12 years and an extension period of three further years on licence, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last indefinitely, prohibiting him from residing with or inviting into his residence any person deemed as vulnerable, and will be a registered sex offender for life.

The prosecution, authorised by the CPS, followed an investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

Detective Constable Emily Turner said;

“Jani was in a nightclub in Crawley, where he in effect targeted his victim who was on her own, taking her to his address and raping her.

“We are really glad that the victim has now seen justice done. She supported our investigation throughout and gave her evidence in court, facing cross-examination.

“This case shows once again how we will always support victims and seek to find the evidence to prosecute those who offend against them.”

The victim said;

“I would like to say a special thanks to friends and family, and to Littlehampton and Crawley Police for ensuring that this case was dealt with swiftly, namely DC Emily Turner, DC Hugh Charles and PC Alexa Wood.

“I now have an incredibly long way to go mentally to rebuild my life, as well as my future.”

For information on services and support available to victims of sexual offences see the Sussex Police website

Crime

Crawley Council warns of rise of conmen knocking on doors across town

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The message is very clear – Be scam aware!

Crawley Borough Council is warning residents to be scam aware following a rise in reports of conmen knocking on doors.

The council has recently received reports of two different scams, where residents are asked to pay thousands of pounds up front for work that isn’t needed or shouldn’t cost anywhere near that amount.

In the first scam, a group of men were knocking on residents’ doors claiming to be from a boiler company and saying that they had been sent to check on boilers.

This happened to a resident in Bewbush, who was told their boiler needed to be fixed at a cost of £4,000, which he was told to withdraw from his bank without telling anyone. This particular tenant was vulnerable but fortunately the bank staff knew him well and questioned why he was withdrawing such a large amount of money.

His support worker was then notified and the incident was reported to the police. Additional security measures have been put in place for this tenant.

The second scam was reported in Gossops Green, where a resident was scammed for fencing at a cost of £3,500. This was reported to the police and fortunately the cheque was cancelled before the scammers got their money.

Scams come in many different forms and not just on the doorstep. Other scams include emails, phone calls and text messages. We are encouraging tenants to be extra careful when buying products or services online or in person.

Some of the signs to look out for include:

*             You are asked to pay money up front, for example to cover delivery costs or to ‘release funds’

*             You have ‘won a prize’ in a lottery or competition you have never heard of, much less entered

*             You are pressurised or hurried into making a decision – e.g. told to ‘act now’ as the price will go up if you don’t buy immediately

*             You are told to not tell anyone else about it – for example ‘it’s an exclusive deal only for you’

*             Unsolicited emails, phone calls, text messages or letters

*             Emails from sources you don’t recognise that include attached documents or other files

*             Emails that appear to be from your bank, HMRC or another trustworthy source that ask you to reveal personal data, such as your account details.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“There will always be a small number of people who seek to take advantage of others, but we can protect ourselves from scams by taking a little extra time to check people are who they claim to be.”

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