A council support worker who raped a young woman has today been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Simeon Kellman, aged 42, of The Oaks, Woolwich, lay in wait outside the 18-year-old woman's home.

As she returned he approached her from behind, forcing her into the flat. He raped her and locked her in a cupboard, and told her not to go to the police.

The victim thought her attacker's voice was similar to Kellman's, who had delivered a food hamper to her home in the run-up to Christmas.

Further investigations revealed Kellman, who worked for Greenwich Council, had accessed information about the woman on the council database more than 30 times.

The attack happened on December 22. The victim described her attacker as wearing a red jacket.

Kellman destroyed a red jacket he owned, but CCTV evidence was found showing him wearing it.

He was arrested and charged on January 4. His DNA later came back as a match to DNA the offender had left at the scene.

Kellman pleaded guilty in March at Woolwich Crown Court to the rape and false imprisonment of the woman.

Detective Inspector Brian Willis, from Greenwich Sapphire Unit, which deals with sexual offences, said: "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Greenwich Sapphire Officers a predatory and very dangerous man has now been removed from the streets.

"Kellman's victim was targeted because she was vulnerable and he hoped this would increase his chances of escaping justice - however, the strength of his victim proved him wrong and I cannot praise her highly enough.

"However, we have reason to believe that Kellman could have raped before and I would encourage other women who might have not done so yet, to contact police to report similar offences."

Greenwich Council stopped Kellman's pay when he was arrested and dismissal proceedings started when he entered a guilty plea.

A council spokesman said: "We strongly support the custodial sentence given to Mr Kellman for an extremely callous and calculating crime and an unforgivable betrayal of trust.

"We continue to work with other agencies to provide support for the victim, and applaud her brave determination to seek justice following such a deeply traumatic experience."

Greenwich Sapphire Unit can be contacted on 020 8284 9818.