A Bedford man has been jailed for six years after raping a woman and leaving her with long-lasting fear and anxiety.
Paramanathan Nanthasri, 38, was found guilty of one count of rape following a trial, after denying the charge.
In September 2019, Nanthasri, of Chiltern Avenue, Bedford, was working in a shop, which he owned, when the victim entered to ask about job opportunities.
On the pretence of continuing this discussion, Nanthasri encouraged the victim to go with him to the back of the property where he plied her with strong alcoholic drinks before taking off her clothes and raping her. The victim disclosed the assault to her partner and to the police soon after the ordeal.
Nanthasri claimed that the entire shop was fitted with CCTV, which was seized by the investigating officers. When reviewed by officers, it was discovered that footage of the back office from the time of the offence was missing.
Additionally, DNA linking him to the offence was found on the victim.
During the trial Nanthasri maintained his innocence and created elaborate explanations for the missing footage and the DNA found on the victim.
The victim said in her impact statement: “It made me question myself, my judgement, and my worth.
“I have flashbacks and think about what happened most days.”
Nanthasri was sentenced on Wednesday (23 March) at Cambridge Crown Court, and was also put on the sex offenders register for life.
Detective Constable Lynn Adams, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Nanthasri has denied the offence, making the victim go through the further ordeal of a trial.
“The victim showed great bravery in giving her statement, and along with the strong evidence gathered by our investigators, the jury found him guilty.
“We hope that this result will serve as reassurance to any person who has been through the trauma of rape or serious sexual assault. We have specialist officers trained to support people who have experienced these horrific offences.
“Nobody should feel like they cannot speak up about the abuse and we will listen to every report and treat them seriously.”
Police have a significant focus on tackling perpetrators of male violence against women and girls (MVAWG), and as a force Bedfordshire Police is working with other organisations to support and improve women’s safety across the county.
Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies, including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.
Reports of sexual assault, even if non-recent, can be made to the police by calling 101 or online.