Teenager sentenced for rape and attempted murder of woman in city park

A teenage rapist who bludgeoned a woman with a paving slab and left her for dead will be sentenced later.

Charlie John Pearce carried out the attack on the woman on his 17th birthday in July last year, having researched rape online.

He had denied meaning to kill the woman but admitted two counts of rape, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and stealing her handbag.

Following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, he was found guilty of attempted murder, having left his victim within a "hair's breadth" of death.

The court heard Pearce had dragged the victim into undergrowth in Leicester's Victoria Park, where she was found around an hour later by a cyclist who spotted a pool of blood.

The victim, aged in her 20s, suffered "truly dreadful" head injuries at the hands of Pearce, who was captured on CCTV running towards her.

She awoke from a coma weeks later, unaware of what had happened.

The defendant, who had been drinking in a pub, was linked by "one-in-a-billion" DNA matches after his family contacted the police following a media appeal.

Pearce, of Clarendon Park, Leicester, will be sentenced at the Old Bailey by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave later.