July 2019

Deportation warning as judge jails Romanians who carried out horrific Fife rape

A teenage rapist who posed as a taxi driver to snare a drunk young woman who was subjected to sex attacks was yesterday jailed for 10 years.

Abel Muntean, 19, picked up the woman on New Year’s Day morning in Kirkcaldy and abducted and raped her before delivering her to a house where his accomplice Raul Novac subjected her to a further rape ordeal.

Romanian Novac, 34, was also jailed for five years after he was convicted of the sex attack following a trial in which the pair had denied raping the woman who was intoxicated and incapable of giving consent.

He was sentenced to a further two years and three months after fleeing justice and failing to appear in court at an earlier scheduled hearing.

The judge told Muntean at the High Court in Edinburgh: “You were convicted by the jury of shocking, predatory and outrageous criminal conduct consisting of the abduction and two rapes of the same 18-year-old woman who was unknown to you.”

Lord Uist pointed out that Muntean has continued to deny the offences and shown no remorse.

He said the teenage rapist posed a significant risk of further re-offending.

Lord Uist said he took into account Muntean’s age and lack of criminal record, but added: “On the other hand the crimes of which you were convicted are of such a grave nature that a very lengthy period in custody must be the outcome in order to punish you, deter you and others from committing such crimes and for the protection of the female public from harm from men such as you.”

The judge said that Novac’s decision to become a fugitive from justice, fleeing to Romania and then moving to Ireland, had resulted in considerable public expense with a European Arrest Warrant issued.

He told the two Romanians: “In the case of each of you it will be a matter for the home secretary to decide whether you should be deported on completion of your sentences.”

Muntean, who was 17 at the time, pretended to the woman at Hunter Street, in Kirkcaldy, on January 1 in 2017 that the car he had was a taxi and he was a cab driver and induced her to enter the vehicle before driving off and raping her.

Muntean then drove her to a house in the town’s Nelson Street where Novac also raped the woman, who had been reported as a missing person.

Muntean, of Dornoch Place, Glenrothes, in Fife, and father-of-three Novac had earlier denied the attacks but were found guilty.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson argued that Muntean’s sentence should be reduced significantly because of his age and status as a child at the time of the crimes.

Lord Uist said: “In a sense it is all the more alarming that someone of his age should commit such serious crimes.”

The judge also pointed out that Muntean was a child who held a driving licence and could have got married without parental consent at the time.

Both Muntean and Novac were placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.