A sexual predator who raped a woman in a portable toilet in the shadow of the Eastgate Clock in Chester has been jailed for 11 years.
Ionut Buruiana, of Wharton Court, pounced on his victim after following her into the toilet outside the Disney store on Foregate Street.
He ignored her repeated cries of ‘No’ and left her ‘terrified and distraught’.
Buruiana was only stopped after being caught in the act when a group of friends overheard the victim’s cries and pulled open the door.
The 27-year-old was found guilty of rape by majority verdict at Warrington Crown Court on Friday (August 19).
Matthew Corbett-Jones, prosecuting, said: “Ionut Buruiana followed the complainant for some distance. He had identified the fact she was drunk. He deliberately followed her into the cubicle intending to rape her.
“The defendant forced himself on the victim, despite her obvious distress and her repeatedly saying no.”
The complainant and her friend, from Nantwich, were on a night out in Chester on Saturday, March 12.
They were drinking and dancing in Wetherspoon’s, Church bar and the Commercial, before leaving to head home at about 1.30am on Sunday.
The two women passed the ‘weirdo’ Buruiana on Eastgate Street.
The victim’s friend said: “There was a foreign man on the left hand side of the street and I just thought he was a weirdo. He was just staring straight into nothing and stood very still.”
After passing under the Eastgate Clock, the pair separated as the victim went into the portable toilet and her friend went on to McDonalds to order food.
CCTV footage shown in court showed Buruiana following the woman towards the toilet and out of sight of the cameras.
Witness Amie Dean, along with her boyfriend Matthew Wood, friend Carl Redfern and brother Elliott Dean, were in Foregate Street at the time of the attack.
Ms Dean overheard a drunken woman’s voice repeatedly saying ‘No’ from the next cubicle next door, before telling her friends.
Mr Wood then banged on the door and asked if everything was OK, they heard cries of ‘No’ and ‘Help’ in return.
The toilet was opened and Buruiana was seen standing between the woman’s legs, his jeans ‘sagging’, with her body pushed up against the back of the cubicle.
He ‘smirked’ at them after being caught in the act.
After dialling 999, Ms Dean then answered a call from the victim’s friend and directed her to where they were.
Meanwhile Mr Wood and Mr Redfern stopped an ‘agitated’ Buruiana from leaving the scene before police arrived.
The victim’s friend, who had then realised the 27-year-old was the same man they had passed on the street, said: “She was just screaming and screaming, she was so frightened.
“Initially I couldn’t figure out what happened then one of the group of friends told me what they had heard.
“She’s such a strong girl, I’ve never known her frightened of anything, she was so scared and couldn’t believe this horrific thing had happened to her.
The victim said she could not remember the traumatic attack herself.
She said: “I remember the sirens. That’s the next thing I can recall.
“I don’t remember the actual incident itself, but I know from how distraught I felt. He had intercourse with me and I didn’t consent.
“I wouldn’t have sex in a portable toilet, especially not with a stranger.”
Buruiana, who is Romanian and required a translator during the week-long trial, came to the UK in October 2015 and worked fitting solar panels in Deeside.
He initially told police they consensually kissed and touched each other over their clothes, but changed his story after being shown CCTV footage.
Officers said on arrest he was drunk, slurring his words and his eyes were glassed over.