Man jailed for attempted rape of teenage girl in Hastings

A MAN has been jailed for attempting to rape a teenage girl.

Luke Anderson attacked the teenager on Saturday January 29 as she sat near an underpass in Wellington Place, Hastings.

A member of the public witnessed the attack and wrestled Anderson from the victim before calling police.

The witness was able to identify Anderson when he returned to the scene and the 37-year-old was subsequently arrested.

Anderson was charged with rape and pleaded not guilty during an appearance in Brighton Magistrates Court.

He was held in custody pending trial and consistently pleaded his innocence before a full investigation was conducted, including interviews with several witnesses who were in the area at the time.

The Argus: Luke AndersonLuke Anderson

A network of surveillance cameras downtown placed Anderson at the scene, and DNA testing linked him to the victim.

A unanimous jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. Anderson, unemployed and of no fixed address, will also be placed on the sex offender registry for life.

The victim, who was 17 at the time of the attack, was assisted by specialized officers throughout the investigation.

Detective Sergeant Jess Langlands, of the Hastings Safeguarding Investigations Team, said: “I would like to commend the victim for their courage in coming forward and assisting the investigation, and all the witnesses who helped our case.

“Special thanks also go to the courageous member of the public who intervened in the attack and identified Anderson when he returned to the scene.

“Luke Anderson is an opportunist and purposely aimed at a young, lonely woman. The victim’s strength and determination helped drive a dangerous predator off our streets, but I know that doesn’t lessen the impact of his attack on them.

“We would encourage all victims of sexual abuse or assault to come forward and speak to the police so we can bring those perpetrators to justice.”

Crimes can be reported to the police online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. To pass information anonymously to the police, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Man jailed for attempted rape of teenage girl in Hastings

Fry Electronics Team

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