A man who sexually preyed on a woman in Colchester has been found guilty of rape.
The investigation has been led by specialist officers from our Adult Sexual Abuse Investigation (ASAIT) team, with support from our partners at the Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse in Essex (CARA).
On a weekend in July 2019, 30-year-old Miridon Bera visited a club in Colchester alone around 11.30pm.
CCTV evidence gathered by specialist detectives showed Bera leave the venue a few hours later in the company of a woman.
He then led the woman, who was in her 20s and not previously known to Bera, back to his flat where he attacked her.
Once safely away from the location, the woman reported the incident to us.
Bera, of Talavera Crescent, was arrested the same day and charged with one count of rape. He denied the charge and stood trial at Ipswich Crown Court
Today (16 February) he was found guilty and will be sentenced on 21 March at the same court.
Speaking after the verdict, the woman he attacked said:
“DC Howells and her team at Essex police have been incredible during the more than 3.5 years it has taken for this trial to come to fruition, working alongside CARA to provide support above and beyond my expectations during what has been an incomprehensively arduous journey.
“While there are gaping holes in our criminal justice system that require radical change to better serve victims of crime, the on the ground care that I have received from DC Howells and CARA has been fantastic since day one.
“I am truly grateful to DC Howells as well as my closest friends and family, who have backed me fully at every step without question and without whom I may not have gotten this far.”
Detective Sergeant Liv Howells, the lead investigator for the case, said:
“Nobody should have to live in fear of being targeted or attacked while socialising.
“There can be no doubt that Miridon Bera was in control of his actions that night and hoped to get away with it.
“Our team and our partners have worked closely together throughout this investigation to support the woman and get justice for her.
“I want to thank them for their continued support and also the woman Bera attacked, who has shown incredible strength over the past three-and-a-half-years and has always put her faith in us.
“To anyone out there who may have experienced sexual violence, we know that reporting the incident can be a huge decision but know that we’re here for you when you’re ready.”
Support is there for anyone affected by rape and sexual abuse, and no victim or survivor is alone. Synergy Essex provides specialist support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse of all ages and all genders across Essex, Thurrock and Southend.
Synergy Essex is a partnership of rape and sexual abuse centres in Essex: CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), SERICC Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service and Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SOS Rape Crisis). Synergy Essex is independent from the police and provides support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.
Victims and survivors can self-refer, or be referred by a parent, partner, friend or professional and can access specialist emotional support, counselling and advocacy. For victims and survivors who report to the police, Synergy Essex provides an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, providing support throughout the criminal justice process.