Sutton Council insists to people that the borough is a “very safe place” after two men who raped a woman in a Carshalton alleyway were jailed.

Radian Cojocaru, 32, and Gabriel Bejinariu, 20, both of no fixed abode, were sentenced to a combined total of more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of the attack.

Bejinariu, who denied the rape, was sentenced to 12 years for aiding and abetting rape, and five years for rape, with both set to run consecutively.

He was also sentenced to four years in jail for attempted rape, which will run concurrently with the above sentences.

Cojocaru, who admitted to the attack before Bejinariu went on trial last month, was jailed for 12 years for rape, and two years on licence, after admitting to both rape and aiding and abetting rape.

While the council condemned the attack as a “horrific act” it has vowed to continue working in partnership with police and the rest of the community.

“The attack that took place on October 14 [last year] near to Shorts Road was a horrific act but we are assured to know that those responsible have been brought to justice,” a spokesman said.

“We understand the concern an incident like this raises within the community and people should of course remain vigilant but Sutton is a very safe place and crimes like these are very rare.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the police and the community to keep Sutton safe.”

As reported by the Sutton Guardian, the pair of rapists met at Victoria Coach Station on October 13 last year, the court heard, before travelling to Carshalton the following day.

It was at around 3pm on October 14 that they attacked a 53-year-old woman as she approached an alleyway in Shorts Road.

That was before a member of the public, who saw what was happening, then challenged the two men and ran after them.

Cojocaru was held on the car port of a roof of a nearby house before police officers arrived and then arrested him.

Bejinariu was arrested a few days later after he was identified on CCTV footage from Victoria Coach Station.

Detective Inspector Keith Ward, of the Met’s child and sexual offences unit (CASO), condemned the act as a “shocking assault by two strangers on a lone woman in broad daylight”.

“The victim has also shown considerable courage to give evidence during Bejinariu’s trial,” he said. “I’m glad that the prison sentences given to these two men means they will be off the streets of London for a considerable period of time.”

After praising the bravery of the member of public to help arrest Cojocaru, he added: “Stranger rapes such as this one understandably cause a considerable amount of fear in communities but, thankfully, they are rare.

“Thanks to the actions by the member of the public and a swift investigation we were able to quickly apprehend and prosecute the two men responsible for this offence.”