20-year-old jailed for raping woman at a halls of residence in Cardiff

A man has been jailed for raping at a woman at a halls of residence in Cardiff.

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CCTV showed Preet Vikal carrying the victim in his arms and later across his shoulders in the city centre.

The 20-year-old admitted the rape committed during the early hours of June 4, 2022.

The victim has described being left shaken, being unable to sleep, and feeling a sense of guilt as a result of his actions.

Vikal came across the woman while she was on a night out with friends in Cardiff city centre.

She began to walk home from The Friary area with friends but is later seen on CCTV being carried by Vikal on King Edward VII Avenue and North Road.

Vikal continued to carry her to a property in the North Road area where she was raped.

Detective Constable Nick Woodland said:

“Stranger attacks such as these are extremely unusual in Cardiff but in Preet Vikal we had a dangerous individual.

“He took advantage of an intoxicated and vulnerable young woman who became separated from her friends.”

Officers carried out an extensive trawl of CCTV and it was this footage, along with an Instagram message exchange with the victim, that led to Vikal being identified and arrested.

The victim bravely provided officers with an account of what happened.

“From the minute this was reported, we were absolutely 100 per cent committed to identifying the person responsible and bringing him to justice,” added DC Woodland.

“Enquires revealed inconsistencies with the accounts provided by the defendant, and it was this, along with the continued bravery of the victim, that ultimately led to him pleading guilty.

“We hope the sentencing brings some sense of closure and allows the woman to regain her confidence and move on with her life.

“We wish to thank those witnesses who came forward as a result of a public appeal for information and supported our investigation.”

South Wales Police takes all reports of sexual assault seriously and urges victims to come forward to report it, regardless of when it happened, safe in the knowledge that they will be treated with respect and dignity and that their allegation will be fully investigated.

Vikal was sentenced to six years and nine months in a young offenders institution. He will serve two thirds of the sentence in custody and the remainder on licence.

For more advice on rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences visit:

https://www.south-wales.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/advice/rape-sexual-assault-and-other-sexual-offences/

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