Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Gemma Bradley

Mum kept quiet as she was being raped to 'not wake kids sleeping next door'

A man raped a woman in her home with two children in the next room and returned six weeks later to attempt to rape her again, a court has heard.

Petrus-Ionut Apostoae, 25, of Gorsey Lane, Orford, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday charged with two counts of rape, one count of burglary, three counts of attempted burglary and one count of attempting to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence. Louise McCloskey, prosecuting, detailed that on October 2 last year, the victim had held a party at her home, which a number of family and friends attended and left around 6pm.

The victim was looking after her child and another child, and put them both to bed at around 8 or 9pm. She was unsure if her friend was returning so stayed up watching television and was talking to friends on social media, before going to bed at around 2am.

READ MORE: Man 'distracted by broken traffic light' killed beloved nan in horror crash

Ms McCloskey said: “The next thing she remembers is the stuff of nightmares. She suddenly awoke to hands over her face.

“At first, confused, she thought it might be her friend had returned and was messing about so pushed back before quickly realising that an unknown male was in her bedroom with his hands over her mouth and nose. She pushed his hands away but he pushed harder and she was struggling to breathe.”

The defendant removed his hands from her nose but kept them covering her mouth. She continued to struggle and fell to the floor, before Apostoae lifted her off the floor and onto the bed.

“She lay on the bed terrified that the children would wake up and come into the room, the defendant realised she was no longer fighting so removed his hand from her mouth.” He proceeded to rape her and afterwards he placed the quilt over her head and face before tucking it in around her and stroked her over the quilt.

She described “accepting what was happening in order to not wake the children in the room next door”. Apostoae asked her not to call the police, and if she was alright.

She said she would not call the police, and told him the children would be getting up shortly. The victim waited until she heard the front door close and called the police.

Immediately after the assault, the victim underwent medical examination and she was found to have abrasions over both knees and was later given antibiotics after contracting an STI from the rapist. The victim had CCTV and extra security installed at her home after the attack, but went to stay with her family.

Six weeks later while at a family member’s home on November 12, she was awoken at 5am to an alert on her home security CCTV showing a male walking towards the front door of the address where the attack took place. Apostoae walked through the garden, tried the handle, failed to enter, and walked away.

The victim did not recognise him but described feeling scared and upset at seeing him try to gain entry again, and sent the footage to police. On the same night, Apostoae attempted to break into several other properties in the area.

Widespread DNA screening and questioning was undertaken by police following the incident, and on November 23, Apostoae’s sample was taken. On December 5, a DNA match was returned, and he was arrested and his home was searched.

An art set and a hoodie stolen from the victim’s address were found at his home. CCTV was also used to confirm his identity in relation to the sexual offences and attempted robberies.

In a victim personal statement read out by the prosecution, the victim detailed feeling anxious and upset since the attack, and has not been able to return to her home. She was worried he would return to try and attack her again, and getting the alert informing her he had returned to her address made her feel as though she was being targeted.

The victim also said she hopes this can show victims of serious sexual assault that they should report it to police, and they will receive the support they need. Apostoae was interviewed on two occasions and gave no comment responses throughout, but later pleaded guilty to the seven counts on January 3, 2023.

He has no previous convictions in the UK, but several drug-related convictions in his home country Romania. Paul Wood, defending, said Apostoae has a long history of cocaine abuse, and that he was under the influence of drugs when he committed the offences.

He said: “Cocaine took too great a part in this defendant's life.” Mr Wood added that “custody is a remarkably isolated place for him”, as he has no family in the UK to visit him and is not fluent in English.

“He wishes me to say he is sorry and acknowledges that he needs to change, he needs rehabilitation and help.” In sentencing, Judge Denis Watson KC said: “You broke into the home of the victim, once inside you raped her twice and you stole various items.

“Six weeks later you tried to break into three other houses in the same area as her house, and you entered to steal from those properties but you also returned to her home and tried to enter again and it is clear that you entered to commit another sexual offence. The only sensible conclusion I can come to is that you entered to commit rape.

“The return to the same address indicates planning and targeting.” Judge Watson issued a restraining order barring Apostoae from approaching or contacting the victim in any way.

He sentenced Apostoae to a prison sentence of 14 years and eight months, plus an extended licence period of eight years, totalling 22 years and eight months.


Man 'distracted by broken traffic light' killed beloved nan in horror crash

Bullied schoolboy's life changed after 'lightbulb moment'

Man threatens to kill Merseytravel guard before being sent to the floor

Paedophile threw phone onto garden shed roof when police came knocking

Shoppers 'absolutely love' £8 serum that's like 'botox in a bottle'

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.