Tourist jailed for dragging 15-year-old girl into the sea off packed Bournemouth beach and raping her

19 April 2024, 15:46 | Updated: 19 April 2024, 17:01

Gabriel Marinoaica has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for raping a 15-year-old girl in the sea off Bournemouth beach
Gabriel Marinoaica has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for raping a 15-year-old girl in the sea off Bournemouth beach. Picture: Dorset police/alamy

By StephenRigley

A man who raped a 15-year-old girl in the sea off Bournemouth Beach in a ‘brazen’ act in broad daylight has been jailed for six and a half years.

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Gabriel Marinoaica, now 20, of Darlastan, Walsall, West Midlands, was found guilty of three charges of sexual assault and another charge of rape in March and was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Judge Susan Evans KC called the daytime attack "brazen".

The jury at Bournemouth Crown Court were told the victim had been dragged out of her depth in the water and attacked near the Oceanarium in July 2021.

The court was told the girl was playing with a ball with her friends in the water when it landed in front of Marinoaica.

She went over and asked for it back, which led to him engaging her in conversation.

Jurors heard he then pulled her deeper out into the sea until she could not touch the floor before he sexually assaulted and raped her.

Rapist Gabriel Marinoaica
Rapist Gabriel Marinoaica. Picture: Dorset Police

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The victim managed to get away when a friend of the defendant came over to them and she returned to the beach with her friends.

She told them what happened and they helped her get away from the beach to safety.

After the schoolgirl reported her attack, traces of semen were found on her bikini bottoms but they did not match any DNA in the police database.

It was another 11 months before Marinoaica was identified through police inquiries and a public appeal and his DNA was taken. It matched the sample on the girl's bikini.

He claimed that he thought the girl was aged either 17 or 18 and that they had consensual sex.

Crowded Bournemouth beach, England, UK
Crowded Bournemouth beach, England, UK. Picture: Alamy

Judge Susan Evans KC said that the attack undermined the public’s sense of safety on busy beaches.

She said: “Young people should be safe on a busy beach on a sunny afternoon, sadly that was not the case.”

She added: “It was a brazen attack in broad daylight with many people around.

“The beach should be a safe place where young people can go without fear of being raped or sexually assaulted.

“What you did does undermine public confidence in the safety of a public place like that.”

Detective Inspector Mark Jenkins, of MCIT, said: “This young victim was subjected to a horrific sexual attack. She has shown immense courage to come forward and report the offences and I want to thank her for the strength she has shown in supporting our investigation throughout our lengthy enquiries to identify the offender and bring him to justice.

“I hope her bravery will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward in the knowledge that they will be fully supported and we will do all we can to ensure those responsible are identified and brought before the courts.

“I want to again thank all those from across Dorset Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who have assisted in this comprehensive investigation.”

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