Hero says rapist got ‘what he de­served’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By ADAM UREN adam.uren@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Ptadamuren

A HAVE-A-GO-HERO has spo­ken in public for the first time about the night that he stopped a teenager rap­ing a vul­ner­a­ble woman be­fore punching him in the face.

The ac­tions of Gatis Rak­stins (29) led to the con­vic­tion and in­car­cer­a­tion this week of 18-year-old Ryan Forde, who car­ried out a ter­ri­fy­ing rape on a 23-year-old woman he had never met be­fore.

Mr Rak­stins said Forde “got what he de­served” af­ter he was jailed for six years and two months at a hear­ing at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court which was held on Tues­day.

The Lat­vian na­tional, who moved to Peter­bor­ough a year ago and lives in Oswald Road, Wood­ston, Peter­bor­ough, was with a friend when he passed by Burgh­ley Road in the early hours of Septem­ber 11 last year and heard a woman scream­ing.

Forde, of Lilac Road, Peter­bor­ough, had tar­geted his vic­tim, prey­ing on her vul­ner­a­bil­ity as she re­turned home alone af­ter row­ing with her boyfriend on a night out in Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre.

Mr Rak­stins said there was no way he could turn a blind eye and walk away once he re­alised what was go­ing on and that she was be­ing raped.

He said: “I was walk­ing past and I could hear a girl scream­ing and saw a guy was on top of her.

“I quickly re­alised that this was no joke so I pulled him off her.

“I asked him what was hap­pen­ing and why she was scream­ing, he told me it was none of my busi­ness.

“But I knew some­thing bad was hap­pen­ing so I punched him in the face and he ran off.

“I know some­times peo­ple may walk past and think it’s not their prob­lem, but I could not turn my head the other way.”

Forde fled af­ter he was punched in the face by Mr Rak­stins. How­ever, he re­turned to the street a few min­utes later with se­cu­rity staff from a nearby bar to col­lect his bi­cy­cle.

CAGEI Gatis Rak­stins.

Mr Rak­stins said: “I think he told the se­cu­rity guards that I was try­ing to steal it and rode off.

“I ex­plained what had hap­pened to the guards and they called the po­lice.”

Mr Rak­stins said he moved to Eng­land be­cause it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to find work in his na­tive coun­try.

A lorry driver in Latvia, he has been work­ing shifts in ware­houses in Peter­bor­ough.

Dur­ing the court hear­ing, Judge Nic Madge or­dered that Mr Rak­stins should be re­warded £400 for his in­ter­ven­tion and for iden­ti­fy­ing Forde to the po­lice.

DS Rich Se­ston, who in­ves­ti­gated the rape, also praised Mr Rak­stins.

He said: “It could have been a lot worse if he had not been there, peo­ple some­times do look the other way, but he didn’t.

“The sen­tence is a pos­i­tive one, though I’m a po­lice­man so I al­ways want longer, but it sends out a clear mes­sage re­gard­less.

“Stranger rapes for­tu­nately are very rare oc­cur­rences in this city, but it hap­pened on this oc­ca­sion and we man­aged to de­tect it.” STAFF and pupils from Peter­bor­ough Re­gional Col­lege went for gold when they took on a chal­lenge to raise cash for a city char­ity.

They took up the Gold Chal­lenge, which is to go the dis­tance of 2012km or com­plete 2012 min­utes of one or more of the many Olympic and Par­a­lympic sports avail­able.

They raised more than £789 for the can­cer care char­ity Sue Ry­der, which has a hospice in Thorpe Road, Peter­bor­ough, by stag­ing a mass walk around the col­lege.

(METP-24-05-12DL059)

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