Beds, Herts & Bucks

Friend praised by judge for stopping rape

A judge who jailed a would-be rapist praised the offender's friend who stopped him and reported the attack.

Charles Chuwang, 29, of Chapel Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, was jailed for three years at Luton Crown Court. He admitted the attempted rape.

Judge Barbara Mensah said: "You have a lot to thank your friend for. Were it not for his actions you would have been facing a far longer sentence."

She awarded Brian Mucuva £300 from public funds.

Prosecutor Simon Thomas said on New Year's Eve last year Chuwang had been out drinking heavily.

He met a 23-year-old woman and her two friends in a pub.

'She was screaming'

Mr Mucuva, who became friends with Chuwang at university, had arranged to drive him home and had not been drinking, the court heard.

He picked up Chuwang and the three women and he dropped two of the women home.

But Chuwang encouraged one of them to come back to his flat where he tried to rape her in the lounge before Mr Mucuva stopped him.

Mr Thomas told the court: "She was screaming to get him off and he tried three times to pull his friend away before he succeeded."

The woman left and immediately told police what had happened to her but she could not locate the flat where the assault had taken place.

'Great courage'

In the days following Mr Mucuva repeatedly tried to persuade his friend to go to the police, but Chuwang maintained they had "just been having fun".

He then took the decision to report the matter himself and Chuwang was arrested.

Judge Mensah said Mr Mucuva had shown "great courage".

Jonathan Akinsanya, defending, said: "This behaviour was totally out of character and something he will regret for the rest of his life.

"He is deeply sorry for what happened, sorry that he put this young lady through what she went through. He knows he has affected her life."

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