Liam Stimpson: Man jailed for raping 'homeless' woman while out celebrating birthday

A man has been jailed for 15 years for raping a "vulnerable, lone" woman in a city centre while celebrating his birthday on a night out.

Liam Stimpson, isolated the woman under the guise of buying her food, and attacked her underneath a secluded railway bridge in Cardiff in the early hours of 27 December, last year.

The woman was homeless, local media reported.

The assault continued even as she managed to run away while shouting for help.

Detective Inspector Katherine Barry, from South Wales Police, said Stimpson was a "sadistic predator" who carried out a "heinous attack".

Stimpson inflicted "really serious facial injuries, he raped her, he threatened her, he bullied her, he humiliated her", she said.

"The condition of the victim was such that she struggled to give us an account at the beginning of the investigation," she said.

"We relied really heavily on members of the public who had intervened and who, in my view, probably saved her life, who were able to provide more information about his movement."

Stimpson was sentenced on Monday at Cardiff Crown Court after he was convicted of two counts of rape and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent on Thursday.

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Detective Inspector Barry said footage of the attack - on CCTV and filmed on a mobile phone - was "some of the most harrowing" she has witnessed in her 21-year career in policing.

"Stranger attacks such as these are extremely unusual in Cardiff but in Liam Stimpson, we had a dangerous individual," she said.

"The level of violence he used, and degradation of the victim was horrendous. He is an absolute danger to women.

"We would like to thank the witnesses who came forward as a result of the press appeal for information and those who bravely gave evidence.

"We would also like to pay tribute to the victim's support officer who has been an invaluable support to the victim and the investigation."