Bedford Rapist Jailed
1 February 2019, 18:36 | Updated: 1 February 2019, 18:39
A man has been found guilty of raping a woman in Bedford in February last year, and stalking and sexually assaulting another woman, has been jailed today for 12 years after being deemed as a danger to the public.
Anderson Cosma, 26, of Kimble Drive, Bedford, was found guilty after a three-week trial at Luton Crown Court in December, for raping a woman on The Embankment, and also for the stalking and sexual assault of another woman.
On Friday 2 February last year, at around 6.30pm, Cosma had been lurking around the town centre waiting for a woman he had been stalking to leave work. When she didn’t appear he chanced upon his next victim, who he had spotted walking alone along Silver Street.
Cosma approached the woman and engaged her in conversation, attempting to win her trust. When they walked onto The Embankment, Cosma picked up the victim and forced her into some nearby bushes where he raped her.
When she told him she would call the police, Cosma fled the scene.
Later that evening, the victim disclosed what had happened to a friend who reported the assault.
Cosma was caught on CCTV in the town centre and investigators then pieced together footage from the route he had walked with the victim to gather evidence against him. The force circulated the images of Cosma to officers, who spotted him in Bedford town centre again just days later and arrested him on suspicion of rape.
In interview it was then discovered that Cosma had been stalking another woman who he had lay in wait for that Friday evening. When she failed to appear, he subjected his next victim to the horrific ordeal for which he is now behind bars.
Today (Friday) Cosma was sentenced at the Old Bailey to 12 years for the rape, 12 months for stalking and 12 months for the sexual assault, to run concurrently. The initial sentence was nine years, extended to 12 after he was deemed as "most dangerous" by the judge. He was issued with an indefinite restraining order in relation to both victims and will be placed on the sex offenders register.
Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Dadd, of Bedfordshire Police’s specialist Emerald unit, which investigates rape and serious sexual assault, said: “This is a great result for the team that worked so diligently to locate the offender, but the sentence passed today will never undo the harm that Cosma has inflicted upon his victims.
“This is perhaps one of the worst crimes that can happen to an individual and one that can present challenges in terms of securing convictions.
“Cosma is a sickening sexual predator and I am glad he will spend time behind bars, preventing further harm and reflecting upon his actions that have severely impacted the lives of these women.
“We are pleased to have been able to provide some justice for his victims who we hope are able to take something from today’s sentencing, and with appropriate support can now begin to recover.”
Detective Superintendent Liz Mead, said: "It is critical that victims have trust and confidence in the criminal justice system to report the most personal and horrific crimes against them.
"Our prime concern is to give victims the support they need, to listen and guide them through the investigation process so that offenders such as Anderson Cosma are brought to justice, whilst respecting their wishes.
"I would like to personally thank the victims in this case for their courage to come forward."
On sentencing, Her Honour Judge Lynn Tayton deemed Cosma to be "most dangerous" and pose a significant further risk to members of the public.
She also commended the investigation team for its diligence and professionalism throughout the investigation and the trial.
Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.
Reports can be made to police on 101. You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) the Emerald Centre, by visiting www.emeraldcentre.org, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01234 897052.
If you believe you are being stalked or harassed, please contact us for help and advice. Call us on 101, or report your concerns via our online reporting tool.
Always call 999 in an emergency.