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Man jailed for raping woman in Bristol

A man who raped a woman in Bristol last summer has been jailed for eight years.

Yonas Gebreysus was found guilty after a trial in May for raping a woman and stealing her mobile phone.

The 32-year-old did not know the woman but the pair came across one another in Lamb Street at approximately 11.30pm on Sunday 4 June 2023.

He began speaking to her and lured her away to a secluded area where he raped her. The jury heard he then stole her phone to prevent her from immediately calling the police or someone she knew for help.

Gebreysus, of no fixed address, was jailed at Bristol Crown Court today (Thursday 4 July) after being convicted of rape and theft, having denied both offences. He will serve a minimum of two-thirds of his eight-year sentence before he can be considered eligible for release on licence. In addition to his prison sentence, his details will be recorded on the sex offenders’ register.

A victim personal statement, written by the woman who is entitled to lifetime anonymity, was read out in court.

She said: “I didn’t do anything wrong. A woman should be able to be alone in a city without worrying about what may happen to her.

“I feel shame and guilt about what happened to me even though it’s not my fault. I don’t know what I did to cause this person to do what he did to me.

“My social life is now non-existent as I have now stopped doing things I used to enjoy, such as going out with friends, socialising and drinking. I no longer drink alcohol as I want to be fully aware and in control of what happens to me and I want to be in a position to look after my friends.

“I no longer go out after 8pm and make sure I am back home by this time. As I said, I don’t have a social life now, I go to work and I come home again that’s all I seem to do now.”

She said the crime had also had a significant impact on her family too.

She added: “I wish this had never happened, my whole life has been turned upside down and I now have to live with it.

“I just want to be able to get on with my life as a normal person, I don’t want to feel guilt or shame about what happened to me, I want to stop feeling scared, I want everything to go back to as it was before I was attacked, it wasn’t my fault what happened to me and I just want to be able to get on with my life.

“I’m not going to let what happened to me ruin my life.”

Judge Moira Macmillan expressed her admiration for the victim for refusing to let what happened define her.

Acting Detective Sergeant Alastair Lea said: “I would like to commend the woman in this case, who has shown great courage throughout the course of our investigation and the trial process.

“She is absolutely right to say this was not her fault in any way whatsoever. She’s shown great bravery to openly talk about how this appalling crime has impacted her life and we hope the conclusion of the legal proceedings today helps her.

“The perpetrator of any sexual offence is the only person who should feel shame or guilt. Yet Yonas Gebreysus failed to acknowledge what he did, meaning she had to relive in court what happened.

“Gebreysus deliberately targeted her late at night and engineered a situation to increase her vulnerability so he could commit his predatory sexual attack.

“The theft of her phone to prevent her calling for help was a calculated effort to try to avoid being caught. It has failed and we are pleased this dangerous rapist is in prison where he belongs.

“Our message to anyone else who is a victim of any form of sexual assault and is worried about coming forward, is that you we will believe you, we will investigate and we will help you access support services.”

You can report rape or sexual assault, whether it is recent or non-recent by calling 101 or visiting www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/report/rape-and-sexual-assault/


If you are a victim of sexual assault or rape, you can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7, 365 days a year. Visit www.thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.


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