Teenage girl says she 'struggles with day-to-day life' since rape in Northampton town centre, court hears
A 17-year-old girl who was raped in Northampton Town Centre by two men has spoken out about how the attack has impacted every aspect of her life.
She described how the two offenders approached her several times on the night, before dragging her into a dark alleyway while she was walking alone to meet her boyfriend.
Two men were sentenced in Northampton Crown Court on April 28 for a combined total of 42 years for the 'vile, wicked and violent' rape in April 2016.
His Honour Judge Timothy Smith, in sentencing, said: "The effect on the victim has been considerable. She no longer feels safe and, in my opinion, shows serious signs of post-traumatic stress."
Beniamin-Ovidiu Ban, 30, of Clare Street, Northampton, was found guilty of two counts of rape by a unanimous verdict at a trial in December last year, where the evidence was described as 'overwhelming'.
Cosmin Vintan, 27, also of Clare Street, Northampton, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape. He had a previous conviction for a 'disturbingly similar' attack in Romania, for which he was released in 2013 after eight years in prison.
The girl, in her victim impact statement that was read out to the court, said: "What happened to me that night after I left my friends has affected me in every way.
"I was a happy confident 17-year-old girl. I used to go out often and I was not scared of the dark. Since April last year, everything has changed."
Judge Smith, in sentencing the two men, said: "On that night, you approached the victim several times and tried to dance with her, but friends intervened to tell you to back off. She was not interested.
"The girls and her friends left to take a taxi and you followed them. To what I imagine will be the victim's eternal regret, she got out the taxi and said she would walk to meet her boyfriend at his job as a doorman.
"She was alone, she was intoxicated and she was vulnerable. You, Vintan, put an arm around her and steered her into a dark, seedy alleyway. You, Ban, followed.
"It was there that you both raped her and threatened to kill her if she screamed."
The two offenders were later arrested after DNA evidence identified Vintan.
The girl said: "Since then, I struggle in my day-to-day life. I'm terrified of the dark. I cannot cope with being on my own. The slightest noise puts me on edge and I don't go out alone anymore.
"I have had trouble sleeping ever since. I dream of dark places and have flashbacks to them attacking me. I wake up scared, terrified that someone is in my room.
"The lack of sleep has had a severe knock-on effect on my college work and I am behind in my A-levels.
"Whenever possible, I avoid the town centre and I hate going near that alleyway. If a man walks past me, I freeze up.
"I don't go out with my friends on the town anymore, and I miss them. I've grown more distant with my boyfriend as I don't like talking about what happened. I don't like being touched and it makes me flinch. It all makes me feel so guilty but I can not help it."
Vintan was sentenced to 23 years in prison, while Ban was sentenced to 19 years.
Speaking to Vintan, Judge Smith said: "I can see little evidence of insight, understanding or remorse you have into the harm you've caused.
"This young woman will have to live with what you did for the rest of her life."