A "vile" rapist has been jailed for more than six years after an "horrific" attack in Hatfield.

Stefan Keleman, of Campion Road in Hatfield, was sentenced to six years and nine months for raping and assaulting a women, after appearing at St Albans Crown Court on Monday (November 13).

In addition to the custodial sentence, the 46-year-old was handed a restraining order, placed on the sex offenders register for life, and will be deported to Romania when he completes his sentence.

At around 11.30pm on Sunday, June 18, Keleman was involved in a brief conversation with a woman in Asda car park. 

He then followed the woman into the town centre and he punched her in the back of the head before pinning her to the ground.

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He then raped the victim while continuing his attack by hitting, punching and biting her.

Keleman only stopped when a police officer arrived.

"Keleman is a vile individual who thought nothing of raping a stranger he had just briefly met. During the attack he continued assaulting the victim by hitting, punching and biting her," said Detective Constable Jarl Thomason, from the constabulary’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team.

"This was a horrific ordeal for the victim and I want to pay tribute to her resilience throughout the court case. I hope the result provides some sense of justice.

"I would also like to thank a local resident who saw what was happening and immediately called the police.

"Thankfully incidents like this are rare in Hertfordshire but that does not detract from the trauma that the victim will now have to live with for the rest of her life.

"We are determined to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls and I hope the news of this prison sentence provides reassurance to the public that we are committed to that pledge."