Two passers-by who intervened in a rape in Leatherhead have been praised by a judge after the attacker was jailed.
At 10.30pm on April 13, 2018, the victim, aged 32, was alone on the pavement in Kingston Road where Eddie Stancombe orally raped her.
Two members of the public saw what was happening and challenged Stancombe, aged 27, who then ran away from the area.
A passing taxi driver also stopped to offer help and police were called to the scene. An early forensic match on a national database led officers to Stancombe who an officer recognised as someone who lived nearby. He was arrested four days later following checks at a second address in Leatherhead.
Following a trial, a jury found Stancombe, of Randalls Crescent, guilty of rape, and at Guildford Crown Court today (December 11) he was jailed for six years.
The two members of the public will be given a Sherrifs Award and awarded £350 for their intervention.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Andy Salter, from Surrey Police’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team said: “This incident has left the victim incredibly traumatised and had a huge impact on her life. Eddie Stancombe is essentially a dangerous predator who took advantage of the situation and we are glad he is now off the streets.
“I would like to commend the bravery of the victim in this case who has shown tremendous courage throughout the investigation and the court case.
“The actions of those passers by cannot be underestimated and what we will never know is what else Stancombe may have gone on to do.
“It is truly humbling that despite what is often said about the state of our society, there are many people who are willing to do the right thing in challenging circumstances.
“As far as the investigation goes, this was a team effort with response officers playing their part in recognising Stancombe, fast time forensics results allowing us to arrest him, and the dedication by many officers in the Sexual Offences Investigation Team, including the investigating officer Detective Sergeant Siohban Parker.”
DS Parker added: “At Surrey Police we have a team of specialist officers in the Sexual Offences Invesitgation Team who are there to support victims and help them through the aftermath of reporting a crime.
“Nobody should be subjected to the assault the victim suffered and we hope this conviction will provide some closure as well as send a message out that we will not tolerate sexual assault in Surrey.”