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Rapist held in secure mental hospital after Southampton sex attack
A TROUBLED Southampton man who admitted raping a stranger after she celebrated seeing in the new year will be held in a secure mental hospital.
Mzolisi Langa admitted raping the 21-year-old University of Southampton student as she headed home on New Year’s Day 2012 after partying with friends in the city centre.
The then 17-year-old pounced on her, grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the ground during the terrifying attack just outside the city’s court building.
Southampton Crown Court heard that that assault, which happened near the junction of London Road and Inner Avenue, was only stopped by the student’s friend who fought him off after running to find help.
Reports ordered by the court revealed that Langa, who has been remanded at Ravenswood House secure unit in Knowle, was suffering from a psychotic illness, most likely schizophrenia.
Judge Peter Ralls said that this was a very “sad case” and sentenced the 18-year-old who had “a troubled mental history” to a hospital order to protect the public from serious harm.
He added that the attack had a very serious effect on the victim and that he could “only express the greatest sympathy for her and her family”.
Detective Constable Simon Clifford, who led the investigation into the rape, told the Daily Echo: “This was a horrific and alarming attack on a young female who has been traumatised by an event that happened at a time of year when people ought to be celebrating.
“Fortunately she is making a steady recovery from this incident with the help of her family and dedicated support groups.
“This was an excellent example of the thorough and detailed investigative response Hampshire Constabulary gives to all reports of sexual assault.”