A Brighton man who 17 years ago had repeatedly raped a teenage girl he met in a pub, has now faced justice with a nine-year prison sentence.
Mark David Hughes, 36, of Vernon Terrace, Brighton, was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Monday 25 April, have been found guilty of raping the girl three times during a night in April 2006 after they had met through mutual friends in a since closed Lewes Road pub.
He will be a registered sex offender for life.
Detective Constable Richie Danton said; "Instead of taking her home, Hughes, several years older than his victim, took her to a succession of open spaces in the area to commit the offences before leaving her in Saunders Park, where she eventually awoke and made her own way home, dishevelled and covered in mud.
"The victim was severely traumatised by the terrible experience and kept it to herself until 2018 when she finally spoke to us, We immediately carried out enquiries and traced Hughes.
"He denied everything but the case was strong and the victim's evidence in court was clearly key to his subsequent conviction.
"We always follow up such reports, no matter from how long ago, to seek justice for victims wherever possible, and to ensure they have access to specialist support and advice."
For information on reporting rape and the support that is available, see the Sussex Police website.
Following an unrelated investigation, at the same court hearing Hughes also pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and was given a six-month sentence to run concurrently with the nine-year sentence. He pleaded not guilty to two charges of non-dwelling burglary and these were ordered to remain on the court file.