The victim welcomed Alexander Henry Coupland’s sentence of eight years and six months for rape, assault by penetration and causing her to engage in sexual activity without consent
Image: Police handout)
A brave woman brought her rapist to justice by recording him confessing to his horrific crime – but says he has shown no remorse.
Alexander Henry Coupland has been sentenced to eight years behind bars after the crucial piece of evidence put forward by his victim.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Cheshire Live: “I ended up getting an audio clip of him admitting what he’d done in his voice.
“I got all this evidence, I had screenshots.”
Following his conviction, the brave victim has spoken about her order at the hands of Coupland.
The sentencing, at Chester Crown court on Tuesday, marked the end of a three-year pursuit of justice for her.
Coupland, 25, from Macclesfield, was tried initially in 2018 but a gas leak at the court meant the trial was adjuurned.
A jury was unable to reach a verdict during the second trial, but today his victim welcomed his sentencing to eight years and six months for rape, assault by penetration and causing her to engage in sexual activity without consent.
And she was hailed by the Crown Prosecution Service for having secured vital evidence that helped to ensure he was caged.
She says the ordeal has changed the way she is able to live her life, making her afraid to leave the house.
She said: “The past three years, I’ve not wanted to come out and I get really bad panic attacks. I don’t like going out when it’s dark. I feel like someone’s following me.”
“Obviously it is not over. But it’s a bit of a chapter in my life I can try to get over.”
Although she is glad Coupland will be behind bars for years, she admits she wishes he could have got life in prison, as she will be dealing with the trauma for her whole life.
“No amount of time can make up for what he has done,” she said. “Eight years and six months is a long time for him, but I’ve got to live with this for life so why shouldn’t he?
“It’s taken me this long to come forward for him to still deny it and then show no emotion at the sentencing.
“I just don’t feel like he knows what he’s done. He showed no remorse – nothing.”
Out on a drive, Coupland forced himself upon his victim in the car.
A few days later, she bravely recorded audio of him admitting what he had done and had screenshot messages she was able to hand over to the police.
Jo Lazzari, Head of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offenses (RASSO) unit, said: “Despite a series of setbacks, the victim remained resolute throughout this prosecution and her evidence led to Alexander Coupland being found guilty on counts of rape, assault by penetration and non-consensual sexual activity.
“He was sentenced by Mr Recorder Thomas QC to a total of eight years and six months imprisonment and a restraining order was granted.
“In a Victim Personal Statement, the victim described how the fear of running into Coupland resulted in her being reluctant to go outside. The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank her for her bravery in reporting this rape, providing us with the evidence we needed and having the tenacity to bring this case to justice.
“Alex Coupland is a sexual predator who placed the victim in a vulnerable position and exploited her trust. Her actions de ella have, without question, made other young women safe from his offending behavior de ella and she should feel proud and empowered by this case.
“Her personal statement to the court is heartbreaking – she says she will never feel herself again. I hope that one day this experience and her courage de ella, despite all the odds will make her a stronger version of herself.
“To anyone else who has experienced sexual assault or abuse, please consider trusting us with your story. We are working in every way possible to bring justice to these cases in the timeliest way possible. New laws allow many victims to give their evidence and cross-examination at a much earlier stage of the case to avoid delays. We will continue to work tirelessly to stop sex offenders from evading justice.”
Detective Constable Natalie Whitehead, who led the investigation, said: “Firstly I would like to praise the victim for the bravery she has shown throughout this investigation.
“The fact that Coupland made her endure a trial and recount what he did to her was extremely distressing, but thanks to the courage that she has shown he is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions.
“I also hope that this case, and the sentence that Coupland has received, encourages other victims of sexual offenses to come forward and report them to us. Any allegation will be thoroughly investigated, with the wishes and needs of the victim as our main priority.
“Victims should never feel ashamed to talk about what they have been subjected to. They will receive the help and support they need from our specialist officers, as well as from other support agencies we work alongside, and all victims of sexual offenses have the right to anonymity.”
The past three years have been difficult for the victim, but now, she says, she can finally heal.
She said: “After having to travel to Chester Crown Court three to four times for a court hearing that kept getting adjuurned because of Covid or a gas leak in the chambers, it has been a very rocky emotional road that I never want to go down again.
“But now I can slowly start to rebuild my life.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.