Hero says rapist got ‘what he deserved’
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.