15 years for rapist who struck in Mansfield car park

Daniel Cooke has been jailed for 15 years.
Daniel Cooke has been jailed for 15 years.

A man who raped a woman in a Mansfield car park has been jailed for 15 years after being branded a “significant risk to the public”.

Daniel Cooke met his victim in a nightclub on a night out before forcing her down an alleyway in Mansfield town centre.

He was then seen assaulting her and stopping her from leaving before raping her in a car park in an alley off Regent Street.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the victim fled after the attack and got in a taxi to go home – but Cooke followed her and also jumped in the taxi before ordering the driver to drop him off in Ollerton.

He was arrested later that day – Sunday, July 19, 2015 – and denied the offences, but was later charged with two counts of rape and one of sexual assault.

However, following a four-day trial which ended yesterday, he was found guilty of all three charges.

He was sentenced to a total of 15 years in jail and must serve at least 11, with Judge Steven Coupland saying the severity of the sentence reflected the fact he posed “a significant risk to the public”.

Cooke, aged 32, of no fixed address, was also given a concurrent two-month sentence for Contempt of Court after verbally abusing the Judge on the third day of the trial.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Stuart Barson, of Nottinghamshire Police, who led the investigation, said: “There was overwhelming CCTV footage in this case showing him forcing the victim down an alley and assaulting her prior to the rape.

“I have spent hours and hours viewing CCTV for this case and the evidence gained is compelling.

“He had no place to hide. This is the most horrifying incident I have investigated to date.

“The impact of this attack has been devastating for the victim but I hope the fact Cooke has now been locked up for a significant time will give her some comfort.”