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9 December 2011, 14:07
A dangerous rapist who stalked and attacked a lone woman in Nottingham has been given an indefinite prison sentence.
Matthew Mee, 26, of Allington Avenue, Lenton, has been told he will not be released until he can prove to a parole board he does not pose a risk.
Mee followed his 20-year-old victim for two miles through Nottingham in the early hours of Wednesday 25 May 2011. He stalked her down Mansfield Road, through the city centre, and in and out of the Broadmarsh Centre, before hitting her over the head and dragging her into bushes in Queen's Road in the Meadows.He then subjected her to a prolonged sexual attack which lasted an hour. Mee eventually let her go and she was able to raise the alarm.
A police investigation was launched and a team of detectives carried out extensive enquiries to find the woman's attacker, including trawling through hours of CCTV footage and carrying out house-to-house enquiries. In a twist of fate, Mee was arrested the next day on suspicion of shoplifting from a store in Nottingham. City PC Ray Bradshaw, who arrested Mee, recognised him from a CCTV image of the suspected rapist which had been circulated amongst local officers. Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin said: "We unwittingly had a rapist in custody and PC Bradshaw's swift actions were pivotal to the case. He ensured a dangerous rapist was kept in custody, which ultimately prevented him from hurting anyone else.
Mee denied carrying out the attack, despite the fact that CCTV footage had captured his movements leading up to the rape. He even continued to maintain his innocence after forensic experts found the victim's DNA on his clothing. DCI Griffin said: "He was completely unremorseful and refused to take any responsibility for the crime. The CCTV footage was enough evidence for us to charge him but the DNA was the final nail in the coffin.He wasn't concerned about the woman he had brutally attacked, all he cared about was what was going to happen to him,he felt like he was the victim. "
Mee went on to plead guilty to three counts of rape at an earlier hearing and was today told he would be listed on the Sex Offenders Register for life. He was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison, to serve a minimum of four years and one month. He was also told he will be on license for ten years once he is released, which means he will be managed and monitored by police and probation. DCI Griffin said that the streets of Nottinghamshire are safer now that he is behind bars.
He said: "He has proved himself quite capable of stalking and attacking lone women. He is a dangerous threat to the public and took an opportunity to commit a most horrific and foul act.
"His victim was a completely innocent woman walking to work and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. By the time she had endured the horrific ordeal he put her through she was absolutely terrified and completely distraught. His actions will have long-lasting implications for her, which will remain long after today is over. I hope today?s outcome will offer her at least some comfort in knowing her attacker is exactly where he deserves to be. Stranger rapes are mercifully extremely rare and when they do occur, we will do everything within our power to apprehend the attacker as soon as possible and hold them to account."
"I also hope that other victims of rape or sexual assault will recognise that we will take them seriously and do everything within our power to secure justice for them too."
Mee's victim, now aged 21, said that she relives the brutal attack every time she closes her eyes.
She said: "It was like a nightmare and it was humiliating. It was the worst thing that?s happened to me in my life and it was so difficult for me that I did not tell my parents for a month. I am their only child and they were heartbroken. I still have anxiety and panic attacks - I cannot sleep and even if I manage to fall asleep I have nightmares. I can see his face in my dreams and I have flashbacks of what happened. That man ruined my life and I do not know if I will be able to trust another man in the future, and I'm only 21-years-old"
There is a wide range of advice and support for victims of rape or sexual assault.
The Topaz Centre (Nottinghamshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre), can be reached by calling 0845 600 15 88 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively call Nottingham Rape Crisis on 0115 9410440.
To report a sexual assault, or any crime, contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101.