October 2014

Woman’s terrifying ordeal at hands of stranger as she walked home from Coventry nightclub

A young woman was brutally raped by a man who attacked her as she was walking home after a night out in Coventry.

Linton Long frogmarched his terrified 21-year-old victim into an alleyway before raping her three times. He then robbed her and left her blindfolded.

After originally pleading not guilty, Long, 41, of Adderley Street, Hillfields, only accepted what he had done as he was about to stand trial at the crown court in Leamington.

He was jailed for seven years and two months after pleading guilty to three charges of rape, one of assault by penetration and one of robbery.

Prosecutor Lee Marklew said that in February the victim went out with friends in Coventry city centre and ended up at the Kasbah night club in Primrose Hill Street.

When she left at about 4am, she decided to make her way home on foot, despite the torrential rain, and as she walked along King William Street she took out her phone to send a message to her boyfriend, telling him she loved him.

As she did so Long, a powerfully-built manual worker who had been in Club M in the city centre until 3.47am, came up behind her and struck her to the back of the head.

A nearby CCTV camera showed that as she was face down on the ground he punched her again, causing a cut to her cheek.

“He then told her to get to her feet and do as she was told, and she was frogmarched into an alley and told that if she did what he said, she would not get hurt.”

Long, who ordered her to face away from him, asked her if she had any money, and she told him he could take her purse. He then stopped her in the alley where he subjected her to a terrifying sex attack.

He added: “She was in the alley for just short of 15 minutes before her ordeal ended when he took her scarf from her and blindfolded her with it and told her to count to ten before removing it.”

When she did so, he had gone, taking her bag with him, and when she came out of the alley, shaking and crying, she saw a French national and told him she had been raped before using his phone to call the police.

Long, who had no previous convictions, claimed in interview that he had no memory of what he had done after leaving Club M, suggesting someone had spiked his drink – which Mr Marklew rejected, commenting: “His actions were nothing other than those of a man who was calm and calculating.”

Long accepted he had lived in Hillfields all his life, and knew ‘all the alleys and rat-runs in the area.’

Mr Marklew added that as a result of the attack the victim is now scared to go out alone, and she has seen a counsellor but has decided to try to deal with it herself.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones commented: “It’s not just her; it affects other woman who are worried about going about their normal lives.”

Sally Hancox, defending, said: “Linton Long is horrified that, in his early 40s, he has gone from being a man of exemplary character to a man in these circumstances. He behaved in a way which was wholly out of character for him.”

Jailing Long and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, the judge told him: “I take into account that for anyone faced with the shame and gravity of your position it did take a level of courage to plead guilty albeit on trial day.

“That said, this is a serious offence. I am satisfied it did take a degree of planning. It was in the early hours of the morning in the pouring rain, with few people about.

“You, a largely-built and powerful man, were following her in the rain. It is clear to me this was a more carefully crafted crime than may appear to be the case.

“You waited for a moment when she was near an alleyway, and you were careful to come behind her so she could not see you and you struck her.

“She was frogmarched into the alleyway. Imagine what was going through her mind. At that point in time she doesn’t know where this is going to end.

“You behaved in a rough and humiliating way. This was an evil and wicked attack.’’