A rapist who attacked a school girl in Cliftonville on New Year’s Day is jailed

Roman Horvat

A rapist who attacked a 15-year-old girl after driving her to a secluded car park in Margate has been jailed for seven years and two months.

Roman Horvat, 25, of Surrey Road, Cliftonville, enticed the teenager into his car as she was leaving a party in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2017.

He offered to give her a lift to a friend’s house but instead drove past their destination before parking his vehicle and forcing the girl to have sex with him.

The Slovakian, who will be eligible for deportation once released from prison, was sentenced today (July 4) after pleading guilty to rape.


Canterbury Crown Court heard how shortly after 1.30am a couple returning home from a New Year celebration were approached by the victim in Palm Bay Avenue. She was crying and told them she had been raped.

While on the phone to police they noticed a light-coloured vehicle pulling out of the same car park from which the victim had emerged.

The girl later told police she had been picked up in Belgrave Road at the junction with Marine Gardens. A review of CCTV footage in the area revealed that the most likely vehicle involved was a silver Vauxhall Astra.

A car with matching plates was stopped in Harold Road on Thursday 12 January and found to be driven and owned by Horvat, who fitted the description provided by the victim.

He was arrested and charged with rape the following day.

Dreadful offence’

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vickery of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: `This was a dreadful offence committed against a vulnerable child who had placed her trust in Roman Horvat to get her safely to a friend’s house.

‘Instead he took advantage of her for his own depraved sexual desires, putting her through an unimaginable ordeal in the process.

‘People should be free to walk alone at night without fear of being preyed upon by the likes of Horvat, and he will now serve a significant period of time behind bars as a result of the very serious crime he committed.”

‘Tremendous courage’

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Horvat took advantage of his young victim’s situation by luring her into a false sense of security before subjecting her to a terrifying attack.

“It is thanks to his victim’s tremendous courage in speaking out about her ordeal that Horvat is now behind bars.

“We hope she has received all necessary support to help her recover from what took place.”

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