A dangerous ‘predator’ has been jailed for nine years after raping a woman who was on a night out with friends in St Austell.

Frankie Mann, 27, of Bridge Road in St Austell, was sentenced today at Truro Crown Court after pleading guilty to rape.

He was sentenced to nine years custodial, with three years on licence. Mann also received a restraining order against the victim and will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The sentencing comes following an investigation by Newquay CID whose fast-track enquiries led them to arresting Mann just 12 hours after the incident.

The court heard how on the evening of May 28, 2023, the victim had been on a night out with friends in St Austell town centre before heading home. She noticed that she was missing her house keys so headed back into town when she was approached by a man on a motorbike.

The man offered to help find her keys, putting his jacket around her while he carried on riding up and down the road, staying close to where the victim was.

CCTV footage was recovered by detectives which showed the victim walking along Alexandra Road in the early hours of May 29. Mann is also seen riding up and down the road, staying close to the victim. Mann is then seen waiting for her at the end of the road.

Whilst still on Alexandra Road, Mann pulled the victim to the ground and raped her – despite her repeated pleas not to.

After committing the rape, Mann told the victim that he had somewhere to be and left the scene.

The victim attended the local police station later that morning to report that she had been raped. An investigation was launched, and specially trained officers were deployed to support the victim.

Detectives carried out immediate enquiries as they pieced together and linked several other reports they had received that day.

Detective Constable Shaun Greenaway said: “Whilst the victim was reporting the incident to officers at the front desk, the local sergeant, having heard the report, was reminded of an incident reported to police in the early hours of May 29 which was a report of a motorbike weaving between pedestrians on a pavement whilst going back and forth along a one-way system.

"This was less than a mile from the scene of the rape. The number plate taken by the witnesses came back to Mann – which put him in the area at the time of the offence.

“Most chilling to this case is the fact that Frankie Mann had approached officers at the cordon of the rape scene to say that he had been driving on Alexandra Road between 1.30am and 2.30am on May 29 and saw a woman screaming as she was dragged down a lane by a man. He also gave a full description of the man he reported to have seen.

“Not only did he place himself at the scene at the time of the rape, but incredibly, he reported that he saw a woman being attacked and chose not to intervene or call the police. His description was vastly different from that of the victim’s, and instead suggested an attempt to control a narrative.”

Following extensive fast-track enquiries, detectives arrested and charged Mann later that day. A case was built and he pleaded guilty to rape on September 29.

DC Greenaway continued: “I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for her bravery and courage in coming forward to police to report this crime.

“We worked quickly to piece together elements of this incident with other reports we had received which led us to the swift arrest of Frankie Mann. Those investigative leads, together with forensic work carried out, resulted in a strong case – one which gave Mann little choice but to plead guilty.

“This was a horrendous crime which had a lasting effect on the victim. I am pleased that this sentence means that the wider public are now not at risk from Mann.

“We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse to come forward to either police of partner agencies to report and seek support.”

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “Tackling sexual offences and violence against women remains a priority for Devon and Cornwall Police. I hope this case demonstrates that our force takes allegations seriously and will take action to remove dangerous predators from the streets of Devon and Cornwall.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape or sexual assault, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

You can also report information and crimes on the Devon and Cornwall Police website, where you can also find information about organisations and agencies that can provide support to victims of rape and serious sexual assault.

Alternatively, you can report information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.