Jail for man who tried to rape woman in club.
Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter email@example.com
ACAR wash worker has been jailed for seven years for attempting to rape a woman in a Northumberland nightclub.
George Manu has been locked up after he was found guilty of attacking the woman in Donnies, in Hexham, in August last year.
The 22-year-old, originally from Romania but who was living at Millfield Court, Hexham, denied an offence of attempted rape and another charge of sexual assault.
However he was found guilty of both counts after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
It was said that Manu met the 40-year-old victim at the nightclub. She was with her boyfriend at the time. At around 3am, Manu approached her boyfriend and gave him PS10 to go and buy drinks. While he was gone, the defendant sexually assaulted the woman as she sat at a table, the court heard.
The victim then went to the female toilets, where Manu followed her and tried to rape her in a cubicle.
During his trial, Manu claimed the woman had beckoned him to follow her into the loo. On a later occasion, he told officials she had asked him to go with her into the toilets.
However these claims were rejected by the jury as well as the judge. It was said the woman repeatedly tried to stop him and tried to get away. The attack only ended when her boyfriend and a club staff member came looking for her and knocked on the toilet door. They found her shaken and dishevelled, while Manu denied any wrongdoing when confronted.
David Callan, defending, said Manu had no previous convictions and was a hard-working man, who had worked in Romania, Norway and Germany before coming to the UK. He also said the defendant had suffered bereavements in his family and his father was ill with cancer.
Judge Robert Spragg jailed Manu for seven years and said he would automatically be deported back to his home country after serving his prison term.
He told the defendant: "You claimed at trial that as the woman walked across (to the toilets), she beckoned you to follow her. That is clearly absolute nonsense as there was no evidence of that at all on CCTV.
"In your pre-sentence report, you now seek to say that she told you to go with her into the toilets. That too is clearly nonsense.
"It was only too apparent that she was desperate to get away from you after what you had done to her at the table.
"(In the toilet cubicle), you kept trying to give her PS10, putting that in the pocket of her coat but she repeatedly refused the money.
"She took it out of her pocket and placed it on the toilet. She kept saying 'no' to you but you would not listen."
The assault resulted in an injury to the victim's arm and to her mouth.
Judge Spragg added: "It was an attempted rape but it was as close as you can get to the full offence. It is clearly so serious that an immediate term of imprisonment is appropriate."
Donnies nightclub in Hexham, and inset, George Manu, who has been jailed for seven years