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Ceri Linden death: Victim's video helps convict rapist

Ceri Linden and daughter Bethan Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Ceri Linden, pictured with her daughter, was found dead at her home

A rape victim who was found dead before her attacker's trial helped to convict him "from beyond the grave", police said.

Masood Mansouri was jailed for 13 years at Chester Crown Court for the kidnap and rape of Ceri Linden, 20, last year.

She flagged down Mansouri's car in Chester thinking it was a taxi, but she was taken to his house and attacked.

North Wales Police said his conviction was thanks to her "powerful" video interview, which was played to jurors.

They added it was a "tragedy" that she had not seen the outcome of her bravery.

The Crown Prosecution Service said Ms Linden, from Colwyn Bay, stopped the car in the early hours of 10 August and thought she was going to be taken to a bar where her friends were.

After Mansouri, 33, attacked her, she hid behind bushes close to his home and called her friends for help.

The mother-of-one was found dead at her home days after the police interview. An inquest has yet to take place.

'Powerful account'

Mansouri was sentenced to six years for the offence of kidnap, 10 years for sexual assault, and 13 years for rape, all to run concurrently.

Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Masood Mansouri, 33, was jailed at Chester Crown Court

Det Insp Claire Coleman, head of Cheshire Police's rape unit, said: "So powerful was the account provided by Ceri that her video evidence was used to bring Mansouri to trial.

"The court heard the victim describe in her own words what Mansouri had put her through. This is a brave lady, who found the courage to tell her story.

"The tragedy of this case is that our victim achieved so much, but will not share the outcome. Our thoughts are with her family."

In a statement, Miss Linden's mother, Eleri, described her daughter as "intelligent, caring and kind-hearted".

She said: "Losing her has left a hole in our lives which can never be filled and a pain in our hearts which will never heal.

"Ceri's lovely little daughter, Bethan, has to grow up without her beautiful mummy."

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