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Man sentenced after High Street rape

HAMPSHIRE POLICE have confirmed that a man has been jailed for nine years after raping a teenager in a Gosport High Street alleyway last year; this sentence given to forty-three year old Martin Butler after he was found guilty of rape and assault by penetration following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court in early October.

Readers will remember that Butler sexually attacked his victim, who was aged 16 years old at the time, in an alleyway off Gosport High Street between 5pm and 6pm on November 19 last year. He further issued threats of returning and severely harming the teenager if she ever told anybody of this incident or threatening words.

Fearing for her personal safety the victim did not report the attack to officers until March 2022, which saw an investigation launched and extensive enquires held. This included a public E-fit appeal that identified 43-year old Martin Butler, of Harbour Road in Gosport, as the suspected perpetrator and he was arrested as a result.

Butler was charged with rape and assault by penetration after questioning, the trial starting on September 23 at Portsmouth Crown Court and lasting a total of two weeks. It featured pre-recorded evidence and the cross examination of the victim in this case, under Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

This unique piece of legislation allows vulnerable victims and witnesses to be questioned by prosecuting and defence barristers in advance and away from the court room. Footage is recorded and then played to all jury members at trial, sparing individuals and victims the need to attend court while trial proceedings are ongoing.

Butler was found guilty of both counts on October 7 and remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing was held on December 2 at Portsmouth Crown Court. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for rape with six years to be served simultaneously for assault by penetration alongside an extended five-year license period.

In addition Butler is subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and must further sign the sex offenders register for life. Further information on the sentencing and reaction on these legal proceedings, including statements from investigating officers can be read via this accessible Hampshire Police online link.

Readers are reminded they can report any sexual abuse or rape attacks to officers in confidence by phoning 101. For more information on where to seek support, or how to make any reports to police, they are asked to visit the link of:

Alternatively, readers can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously by calling 0800 555 111, or via their anonymous online form which can be found through their website:

PICTURED BY HAMPSHIRE POLICE:  A logo incorporating the recent force addition of Isle of Wight region.