Indian-origin man jailed for nearly 7 years for rape in Wales

London: A 20-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to six years and nine months’ imprisonment in the Welsh capital of Cardiff after admitting raping a woman in the city.

Preet Vikal was caught on CCTV camera carrying the victim in his arms and later across his shoulders in Cardiff city centre, Wales, in the early hours of June 4 last year.

It was this footage, along with an Instagram message exchange between him and the victim, that led to Vikal being identified and arrested by South Wales Police.

He was sentenced this week and has been directed to serve two-thirds of the sentence in custody and the remainder on licence, or under strict parole conditions.

“Stranger attacks such as these are extremely unusual in Cardiff but in Preet Vikal we had a dangerous individual,” said Detective Constable Nick Woodland of South Wales Police.

“He took advantage of an intoxicated and vulnerable young woman who became separated from her friends. From the minute this was reported, we were absolutely 100 per cent committed to identifying the person responsible and bringing him to justice,” he said.

The victim told the court of being left shaken, unable to sleep, and feeling a sense of guilt as a result of the attack.

According to the police, Vikal came across the woman while she was on a night out with friends in Cardiff.

She began to walk home from The Friary area in the city centre with friends but after an extensive trawl of CCTV footage from the night by the police she was later caught on camera being carried by Vikal on King Edward VII Avenue and North Road, a video released to the public showed this week.

The police established that Vikal continued to carry her to a property in the North Road area where she was raped. Officers praised the victim for bravely providing them with an account of what happened.

“Enquires revealed inconsistencies with the accounts provided by the defendant, and it was this, along with the continued bravery of the victim, that ultimately led to him pleading guilty,” said DC Woodland.

”We hope the sentencing brings some sense of closure and allows the woman to regain her confidence and move on with her life,” he said.

He thanked those witnesses who came forward as a result of a public appeal for information and supported the investigation.

South Wales Police also issued a statement to highlight that it takes all reports of sexual assault seriously and urged victims to come forward to report it, regardless of when it happened.