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Chatham rapist sentenced to eight years

A rapist who denied targeting a woman as she slept has been jailed for eight years. Shane Baldwin committed the sexual assault at a private address in May 2017 and told a series of lies that changed when he was presented with new evidence. The 31-year-old, of Goldcrest Drive, Chatham, denied rape but was found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, which concluded on 30 August 2019. He was sentenced at the same court on Friday 11 October.

The court heard the victim was sleeping in the spare room of a Chatham property when Baldwin, who was staying in another room, raped her in her sleep. In custody Baldwin denied the offence and initially said he was too drunk to remember what happened. He then claimed he spent the night in separate room, apart from briefly going to the toilet and returning to his bed via the room the woman was sleeping in. As he did this he accidently tripped and fell onto her bed. He denied having any sexual contact. Forensic evidence proved he had given a false account and when he was interviewed for a second time he claimed his DNA was found on the victim because she was given pyjamas he had previously worn.

Detective Constable Tony Devito, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Baldwin inexcusably betrayed the trust the victim had placed in him in the worst possible way. He then told a series of absurd lies to claim his innocence, despite there being incontrovertible evidence against his assertions. It took a tremendous amount of courage for the victim to relive the ordeal in court and I am pleased that we have secured justice for her.’