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Social Media Leads to Conviction in Rape Case

David Berbers identified through Instagram and phone records, sentenced for Hove attack.

In a recent court proceeding, a 21-year-old man from Byatt Walk, Richmond upon Thames, named David Berbers, was sentenced to an 11-year prison term for a grievous assault in a local park. The incident, which occurred on the evening of July 25, 2021, in St Ann’s Well Gardens, Hove, involved the rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

The attack followed a pre-arranged meeting between Berbers and the victim, who had connected via social media. After persuading the young girl to accompany him through the park, Berbers committed the assault and then hastily left the scene, leaving the victim to find assistance from passersby. The immediate aftermath saw the victim receiving aid from medical staff and specialized police support, triggering a swift investigative response.

Authorities were able to pinpoint Berbers as the assailant through the use of his Instagram account, his phone number, and a detailed description provided by the victim. His arrest took place in London merely three days following the incident, on July 28, 2021.

Berbers faced charges for the rape of a minor specifically linked to the incident in Hove. Further investigations by the Metropolitan Police led to additional charges against him, including two counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, and possession of extreme pornography.

The conviction came on December 4, at Kingston Crown Court, where Berbers was found guilty on three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape, alongside his admission to the possession of extreme pornography. The sentencing on February 16 included an 11-year jail term and a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order for Berbers, marking a significant legal resolution to this harrowing case.

Detective Sergeant Kerri Bartup said: “David Berbers is a predatory offender who has proven time and again to be a danger to women and girls.

“His young victim has shown incredible courage and resilience to first report the offence, and then to support the investigation through to its conclusion.

“I would also like to commend the quick-thinking members of the public who brought her to a place of safety on the day of the incident.

“If you are a victim of a sexual offence, please report it to us. You will be believed and supported, and we will do everything we can do get you justice.”

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