A Blackpool man has been jailed for the rape of a young woman.
Kieran Ralston, 21, of Manchester Road was sentenced eight years imprisonment at Burnley Crown Court after previously being found guilty of the offence on Friday 14 July following a trial.
The attack happened on Tuesday February 28 at around 7.30pm after Ralston followed the victim, a 20 year old woman, from a shop on East Pines Avenue in Anchorsholme.
As the woman was walking and listening to music, she was oblivious that she was being followed until Ralston forced her down an alleyway near to Denville Avenue and Inglebrook Close. He claimed to have a gun several times, pushed her against a car and forced himself on her.
As she was being attacked, the victim jabbed Ralston with her elbow and saw the side of his face, realising she recognised him. Her ordeal ended when she said she had to get home as she had bought sweets for her sibling who was waiting for her.
DI Alisa Wilson from West Division’s Public Protection Unit said: “Ralston is a sexual predator who stalked his victim as she was simply walking back from the shop.
“I praise the victim for coming forward and giving evidence at court after Ralston callously decided to plead not guilty, meaning she had to relive her ordeal during the trial.
“The effect that this has had on the victim and the wider community cannot be underestimated; it happened in a relatively quiet area frequented by families and a lot of elderly people.
“I hope that today’s result means that the victim will be able to start moving forward with her life knowing that Ralston is behind bars.”