A MAN who raped one woman and assaulted another on the same night has been jailed.

Jordan Murphy, from Shoreham, has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of rape, common assault and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.

The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty to all three charges, which took place early last year.

At around 2.45am, Murphy’s 21-year-old victim reported being followed along Hammy Lane and Middle Road in Shoreham by an unidentified male – later revealed to be Murphy.

She was pulled down an alleyway and into some bushes adjacent to playing fields opposite Southview Close, where she was raped.

After escaping from Murphy, the woman reported the assault to her friends, who responded by immediately driving down Middle Road and took a photograph of a lone male, who the victim recognised as her attacker.

Police released a witness appeal seeking the identity of the man in the image, which resulted in several calls naming him as Jordan Murphy, a local warehouse worker.

Another woman, aged 21, also came forward as a result of the appeal, reporting she had been followed and grabbed by Murphy earlier that night off Old Shoreham Road, but had managed to escape.

Murphy was arrested on March 10, 2020.

The Argus: Jordan Murphy, from ShorehamJordan Murphy, from Shoreham

Following a trial at Lewes Crown Court, Murphy has been sentenced to nine years in prison for rape, one year for the attempted sexual offence and six months for common assault - all to run concurrently.

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Murphy’s second victim explained the impact the attack has had on her life, relationships with friends and family and leaving her prone to panic attacks.

“I have a message for Jordan. Although this is the worst thing to have happened in my life, I don’t hold any hate, I don’t hold any grudge towards the defendant,” she said.

“I don’t want to believe he is a bad person. I want to believe he’s a person who made a mistake and took an opportunity that he should never have. I believe he failed himself, and I believe a real man or person would not succumb to a weakness like that.

“Since this incident it has slightly steered me into choosing a career where I can be supportive and help people. On a positive note, this incident has made me grateful to have life and to live a life filled with zero regrets.”

Detective constable Hugh Charles, of the Littlehampton Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said their investigation began as soon as the first report was received.

“Thanks to the bravery of the victims, their friends’ immediate actions on the night of the incident and the positive response from the public, officers were able to quickly identify a suspect, make an arrest and secure a conviction,” he said.

“We always follow up such reports with a thorough investigation to establish the full circumstances and help seek justice for victims whenever possible.

“Many days and hours were spent completing extensive house to house enquiries and conducting local CCTV trawl and securing supportive evidence.”