‘Obsessed’ student accused of St Albans supermarket car park rape

A STUDENT who became obsessed with a young woman raped her in the car park of a St Albans supermarket after forcing her to go through a bizarre wedding ceremony.

Vibinmon Joseph, 25, abducted the woman who had come to the UK to study and, after locking her inside a car, hung a gold chain around her neck telling her it made her his wife.

Later he stripped her naked, beat her, bound her arms and hands and, after securing her to a door handle, raped her while parked in the car park of the Sainsbury’s store at the bottom of Holywell Hill.

St Albans Crown Court heard this week that he even produced a camcorder so he could film his 26-year-old victim whose ordeal only ended the following morning when she was able to go into the store for painkillers and raise the alarm.

The attack took place in January of this year and, the court heard, was the culmination of a campaign of ‘possessive and obsessive behaviour’ by Indian-born Joseph towards the woman whom he first encountered when he was working on behalf of a foreign student placement agency and met her at Heathrow Airport last October.

Joseph was studying at the University of Wales and after meeting the woman, he returned there but kept in touch with her.

Sally Mealing-McLeod, prosecuting, said he became obsessed with her, bombarding her with texts and messages, before turning up at her home in Luton in December and speaking to her about marriage

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On several occasions before he returned to Wales in January, he was alleged to have assaulted her.

His obsessive behaviour continued even to the extent of fitting his computer with software so he could hack into her computer and discover what she was doing.

On two occasions before the alleged rape, he managed to maneouvre her into believing that she had jobs at care homes and on the second occasion, when she arrived for an interview only to find no-one knew anything about it, he pulled up in a car, forced her to get in and said: “We are going to die.”

He drove her to Stockwood Park in Luton where he produced a box which contained a gold chain, of the type used in Indian culture to symbolise marriage.

Telling her she was now his wife, he drove her to McDonald’s restaurant adjoining Sainsbury’s in St Albans, before parking in an isolated corner of the supermarket’s car park where the alleged assault and rape took place.

The prosecution claimed he stuffed a towel in her mouth, used sticky tape to bind her arms and hands and kicked her when she tried to fight back.

Miss Mealing-McLeod said: “He produced a video camera and asked her to wipe away the tears and to look like she was enjoying herself.”

The next morning the pair went into the Sainsbury’s store to get her some painkillers and aspirin and she was able to raise the alarm and the police were called.

Joseph pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape, assault by penetration, false imprisonment, four offences of sexual assault and two offences of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Case proceeding.