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Man given 16-year jail term for rape offences

Luke Thompson was jailed for 16 years.

A 32-year-old Bristol man has been jailed for 16 years for raping two women.

Luke Thompson, of Ashley Road, St Pauls, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 22 June) after jurors found him guilty of two counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault.

Thompson was handed a 16-year sentence, eight years for each offence, plus a further three years on licence. He will also be placed on the sex offenders register and the court granted the two victims restraining orders.

The sentence comes following a joint investigation by Avon and Somerset Police and Wiltshire Police into the two separate incidents.

The court heard how, in the early hours of 1 September 2019, one of the victims had been out with friends in Bristol when she was approached by Thompson.

Thompson befriended the victim before attacking her in his car, sexually assaulting and raping her.

The victim bravely came forward in May 2021 about the incident and she was supported by the Op Bluestone team throughout the investigation.

In a personal statement, she said: “I have been feeling very emotional since the trial. I feel I spent the first week after the trial processing what had happened.

“It didn’t feel like a relief that it was all over, as I felt the trial process retraumatising and brought all my feelings to the surface again.

“I feel disappointed that I have been feeling this way as I no longer want these feelings to take over my life and I want to move on.

“I still have to live with what I went through, and I think it will take time to process what has happened over the past couple of years.”

Thompson continued his offending on Saturday 29 May 2021, when he raped another woman in a property in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Thompson was arrested shortly after, and the two cases connected. Following a lengthy investigation, he was charged with the five counts before being found guilty at a trial in May this year.

Investigating officer DC Bethan Doyle, from Avon and Somerset’s Operation Bluestone team, said: “I cannot commend the victims enough for having the bravery to come forward and for supporting this prosecution through a lengthy process.

“The sentence is welcomed by the victim of our case and reflects the seriousness of what happened to her. She was extremely courageous to come forward, which left her feeling humiliated and traumatised.

“Incidents such as this have a lasting and profound impact and we hope that both victims have had the justice they so rightly deserve.

“Thompson is a dangerous individual who has taken advantage of two vulnerable women and has then refused to accept his actions and put the victims through a trial, forcing them to relive what he had done to them.”

Wiltshire Police investigating officer DS Philip Nash said: “This is a lengthy sentence that treats Thompson’s crimes with the severity they deserve, and I’m pleased he will now face an extended period behind bars.

“I’d like to commend the victims for their bravery in coming forward – we appreciate how difficult it is for victims of sexual offences to speak out about what’s happened to them.

“This conviction demonstrates that Wiltshire Police will always take these kinds of offences incredibly seriously and we hope that it encourages others who have experienced sexual assault to speak out so offenders face justice for their crimes.”

Victims of rape or sexual assault, recent or non-recent, can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.

You can also visit www.thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims.

Details of how to report to the police are available here: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/rape-and-sexual-assault/