Rape victim helps convict attacker despite killing herself

Mansood Mansouri raped Ceri Linden, who later killed herself

A rape victim helped convict her attacker despite committing suicide before the trial in a British legal first.

Ceri Linden, 20, overdosed on pills five days after being raped by fake taxi driver Masood Mansouri.

But a video recording of her interview with police was played in court as evidence.

In returning a unanimous guilty verdict, the jury of seven women and five men made British legal history.

A rape case has never previously been successfully prosecuted in England and Wales where the evidence of the victim went unchallenged by cross-examination.

After the verdict, Ceri’s mum Eleri consented for her daughter’s name to be published.

Although deceased victims of sex offences are not afforded anonymity under law, media outlets had refrained from naming Ceri, from Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, at the wishes of her family until Mansouri was convicted.

She said: “Losing her has left a hole in our hearts which can never be filled and a pain in our hearts which can never heal.

“Ceri’s lovely little daughter Bethan will have to grow up without her beautiful mummy.”

Ceri Linden with her child Bethan

Detective Inspector Clare Coleman, of Cheshire Police, said: “This is a brave lady, who found the courage to tell her story.

“Today the jury has listened to her words, and she has helped to ensure that a very dangerous man has been brought to justice.”

Chester Crown Court watched Ceri’s police statement describing how last August’s incident left her feeling “hopeless and worthless”.

Mansouri, 33, from Saltney, who has been in Britain for a decade, was found guilty of kidnap, sexual assault and rape, after which Ms Linden tragically overdosed on her mum’s blood pressure pills.

Before the rape, he had ‘fired himself up’ on web clips of hardcore pornography, his seized computer revealed.

University student Miss Linden had been to a halls of residence party and drank cocktails having earlier downed half a bottle of vodka.

The group tried to ring for a taxi to a nightclub in Broughton but Miss Linden went ahead and got into a BMW, driven by Mansouri, pretending to be a cabbie.

Chester Crown Court

Chester Crown Court

As he instead drove into a residential area, the panicking victim texted a friend, saying: “I’ve been kidnapped.”

A second message read: “I’m not joking,” before another, seven seconds later, said: “Literally scared.”

Mansouri ordered her upstairs at his home and tried to kiss her before putting his hand up her skirt. She was then raped and was described as ‘really rough.’

She repeatedly told her attacker: “I want to go, I don’t want to do this.”

The ‘hysterical’ victim ran outside and hid behind a bush. Later, at home, she told her mum what had happened.

In her police interview, played in court, the woman said: “I woke up yesterday and realised what had happened and the seriousness of it and it hit me. I felt worthless and helpless and that I needed to tell someone.

“I don’t feel like this is something which someone should be able to get away with.”

Miss Linden was vulnerable with ’emotionally unstable personality disorder’, and was sexually assaulted when 15.

She suffered post traumatic stress disorder, and had a baby in 2012, but could not cope with looking after her following an episode of self-harm.

Six months before her death she was hospitalised nine times after attempting suicide.

Source: www.walesonline.co.uk

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