THE Daily Echo's coverage following the rape of a teenager at a Southampton park helped bring the attacker to justice, a court heard yesterday.

The Echo reported on two CCTV appeals, by Hampshire Constabulary, showing a man officers wanted to speak to following the rape of an 18-year-old at Riverside Park in December 2018.

The two appeals were read more than 30,000 times on the Daily Echo website and were also featured in the paper, reaching thousands more.

One of those to see the appeals was the sister of the defendant, Jozef Janczura.

During the 34-year-old's trial, at Southampton Crown Court, the jury heard that after her brother was arrested Janczura's sister told police she recognised him from CCTV images she had seen on the Echo's website.

She was later called by the prosecution to give evidence in her brother's trial, in which she said she recognised Janczura's walk, his posture and his clothing from the CCTV recordings.

Jozef Janczura, of Laburnum Road, Southampton, denied raping and assaulting his teenage victim during the incident on December 2, 2018.

However DNA found on the victim matched that of Janczura's.

Experts analysed the DNA swabs and found the chance that the DNA was left by someone other than the defendant or someone unrelated to him amounted "to odds of a billion to one".

Following a three day trial, a jury unanimously found Janczura guilty of one count of rape and one count of causing actual bodily harm.

His sentencing was adjourned until next month at Southampton Crown Court to allow probation staff to write a pre-sentence report.

Janczura will remain in custody until the next hearing.