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15 February 2019, 11:40 | Updated: 15 February 2019, 12:08
Two men have been jailed for more than four years between them for falsely imprisoning a woman in her fifties in Reading.
Praveen Linga, aged 29, of Academy Way, Lostock, Bolton was convicted of one count of false imprisonment and one count of perverting the course of justice following a trial that concluded on 4 December at Reading Crown Court.
He's been jailed for two years and two months.
Vasile Irofte, aged 19 and of no fixed abode, was convicted of one count of false imprisonment and jailed for two years.
At around 1.30am on May 25 2018, a woman in her fifties was walking along King’s Road, Reading having earlier attended hospital. At this point she was approached by Linga who offered her a lift home.
He then led her to a restaurant on King’s Road. When she entered the building she was taken to the staff area where Irofte was also present. She was kept against her will before being ejected from the premises onto King’s Road, where she came across a member of the public and sought assistance from the police.
The victim suffered cuts to her hands as well as bruising to her legs, arms and groin.
An investigation was launched and Linga and Irofte were arrested on 27 May 2018 and later charged.
During the police investigation Linga also tried to pervert the course of justice by causing the CCTV from the premises to be reset, effectively deleting footage. This was recovered by forensic experts and provided key evidence in the case.
Both men were acquitted at the same trial of one count of attempted rape and the alternative count of sexual assault.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jon Morley of Force CID based at Reading, said:
“This was a serious offence that has had an impact on the victim, and I am satisfied that both men are now in jail.
“I would like to thank the victim for supporting our investigation and standing up to the men who held her against her will.
“I hope that their conviction shows that Thames Valley Police takes crimes of this nature very seriously and will always strive to bring offenders to the courts.”