A man who admitted raping a woman in a park has been warned by the judge to expect a “substantial sentence.”
Mark Pearton, 44, Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to one count of rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of possession of a bladed or sharply pointed article at Oxford Crown Court last Friday.
The victim, a woman, was walking along Harcourt Hill, Botley, between about 7.45pm and 8.10pm on January 10 this year.
Pearton approached the victim from behind and threatened her with a knife.
He then took the woman to Raleigh Park, where he raped her.
Following Friday’s conviction, investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Ben Henley, said: “Pearton has pleaded guilty to the terrible offences that he committed.
“He is an offender who threatened the victim with a knife before raping her.
“Rightly, he will now be sentenced for one of the most serious of crimes.
“I would like to pay tribute to the victim for the bravery she has shown during this horrendous time and I am pleased she will not have to go through the added ordeal of giving evidence in court.
“I would also like to thank all those members of the public who came forward with information during our investigation which ultimately helped us to bring the case to court.”
Thames Valley Police (TVP) launched a two-prong appeal following the attack. A 38-year-old man was arrested but then released on the evening of Wednesday, January 11.
TVP increased its presence in the area, including a scenewatch and foot patrols by police officers, and carried out house-to-house enquiries.
Judge Pringle prepared Pearton for a long jail term when sentence is passed at the same court on May 9.