Serial rapist who targeted tourists on one of UK’s most popular beaches jailed

Clinton Ferreira, 38, targeted teenagers and tourists on one of the UK’s most popular beaches (Image: cornwall live WS)

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A violent serial rapist who targeted teenagers and tourists on one of Britain's most popular beaches has been jailed for 20 years.

Clinton Ferreira, 38, viciously attacked three women last year, leaving them with psychological damage that still haunts them.

He stalked the sands of St Ives in Cornwall for victims including a young woman celebrating her exam success and a French tourist.

In two of the attacks he strangled the women to the point where they lost consciousness.

And chillingly he recorded the attacks so he could relive them after the incident.

Appearing at Truro Crown Court on Friday, Judge Simon Carr gave Ferreira a jail term of 20 years, with an extended term of five years.

Ferreira must serve two-thirds of his 20-year term
(Image: cornwall live WS)

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He narrowly avoided a life term and was told he must serve two thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The three attacks all took place over the course of a few months last year.

He attacked his first victim, the student, on August 22, the second, the French tourist, on September 19, and the third, a drunk woman, on October 19.

Sentencing him, Judge Simon Carr described the attacks as "brutal and sustained."

He said: "In August 2019, you attacked (the first victim). She was a young girl who had been out celebrating her exam results and had been to the beach with her partner.

"You were out late at night for whatever reason and watched them together.

"You waited for her to be on her own and when she was alone on a deserted beach you attacked her.

"That attack was particularly brutal. One of the features of your assaults on two of the women was that you strangled them.

His victims say they have been left permanently damaged
(Image: cornwall live WS)

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"Having heard the evidence I'm perfectly clear that you strangled them up to the point of unconsciousness. That was quite deliberate.

"You took footage, video footage on your phone, of what you were doing.

"You did that so you could relive the experience on future occasions."

The court heard the second victim was again targeted by the defendant while he was out late at night.

Judge Carr added: "You spotted a woman on her own in a tent. She was a visitor to Cornwall and was completely isolated from everyone else.

"Having seen the woman on her own you went into the tent and attacked her. I have no doubt at all that she would have been raped but for the fight she put up."

The third victim was described as a complete stranger who admitted she had difficulty with alcohol and on that day she was very drunk.

The judge added: "You saw it as an opportunity and whilst pretending to offer to take her home, you took her to your flat and raped her, you also filmed that encounter.

"During the course of the trial, that footage was listened to. You recorded almost half an hour of the assault."

St Ives is popular with tourists
(Image: cornwall live WS)

Judge Carr said police also discovered recordings of meeting with other women that he had secretly filmed.

He added: "There were extensive films of you performing sex acts while talking about what you wanted to do. All of this presents a very disturbing picture.

"You qualify as dangerous, I have concluded that this is a case that can be met by an extended sentence – those of life imprisonment to be reserved for the truly most heinous of crimes. That is not to diminish what you did.

"The attacks, extremely serious as they were, occurred over a relatively short period of time.

"Very late in the day, too late to avoid a trial, you have begun to admit what you had done. That is unusual in cases of this sort."

Ferreira was also placed onto the sexual offenders register, on which he will remain for the rest of his life.

Before he was sentenced, two victim impact statements were read out by the prosecution, and one which was read out by the victim.

She said: "I don't feel safe, I don't walk alone in the dark. I've been fearful all the time, and am on edge and feel anxious.

"It was not only a physical attack, I genuinely believed I would be raped and murdered.

"I have lost control over my emotions and confidence. The attack had wide ranging effects on my life. I found that I lost long standing friendships.

"It has also factored on my family, which has been difficult for us all.

The case was heard at Truro Crown Court
(Image: PA)

"I reported it to the police as soon as it happened, but I knew he was still out there.

"After my attack, I heard there had been another attack on the beach – I was angry that it had happened to someone else.

"I've now realised Clinton Ferreira was a pathetic man not able to form relationships with others."

The first victim impact statement, read out by prosecutor Jason Beal, said: "I'm still in shock, but also grateful to be alive.

"I've become fearful of men.

"He traumatised me that night, he knew what he was doing and I believe that he could do this again.

"I don't trust people anymore, I've had some counselling but I'm still psychologically damaged because of the incident.

"I do not feel comfortable coming back to Cornwall again, I don't wish to go back to St Ives again."

Ferreira was found guilty on Tuesday, October 13, when it took the jury just one hour to convict him for false imprisonment, assault by penetration, two charges of attempting to choke/suffocate a victim with intent to commit rape, attempted rape, taking indecent photographs of a child, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and rape.

Ramsay Quaife, for the defence, said: "He now admits his offences.

"He was too afraid, he was too ashamed. That doesn't excuse his behaviour in any way.

"I hope that is some comfort to his victims, who had to go through that which he admits but also a trial process.

"It's almost depressing hearing that, why wait until this hearing to put your hands up? He knows he's hurt people, and now he's going to have to pay for it."

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