A YOUNG man was raped after getting into a car he believed was a taxi following a night out in Bournemouth.

Anderson Cerqueira, of West Cliff Road, Bournemouth, was behind the wheel of a gold-coloured Ford Focus when he stopped for the "slight" 20-year-old in the early hours of August 1 2017.

The victim, who had been to Halo with friends, thought the Focus was a taxi and asked for a lift to Poole.

However, Cerqueira, 44, pulled the car over in a quiet area of Chatsworth Road near the Seaview pub, pinned the victim back and raped him.

After an ordeal lasting at least 10 minutes, the "sobbing" young man was allowed to leave the car.

CCTV captured him "fleeing" from the vehicle. He then sent his mum a text which read: "Please help. I just got raped by a taxi driver."

In 2013, Cerqueira sexually assaulted another young man in similar circumstances.

The victim, then 21, had also been alone and drunk after a night out when he was approached by Cerqueira, who offered him a lift home.

Both young men had been "eight out of 10 drunk" when they got into the defendant's car.

On Thursday, Cerqueira appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court to be sentenced after jurors convicted him of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

David Richards, prosecuting, said the second victim had "tried to resist, but feared what else might happen."

The victim was left in a "terrible state and sobbing" after the attack, it was heard.

His mother later told police she felt "helpless" because she had been unable to protect her son.

Judge Jonathan Fuller QC said the second victim didn't appear to be a "particularly robust young man".

"He gave the impression of someone with vulnerabilities," he said.

The defendant, who is well-built and stands at more than six feet tall, was initially arrested and interviewed by police after the incident in 2013, but denied any sexual encounter.

His first victim then said he didn't want to proceed with the prosecution. The victim was contacted by police again after the later offences, and then gave evidence to help convict Cerqueira.

Mr Richards said there was "active or passive deception with the activities of a taxi driver".

"It's not clear cut," he said.

"Maybe it's just an aggravating feature - the deception wrought."

Judge Fuller replied: "He is out looking for a sexual encounter.

"What these two [offences] have in common is the two young men are very much the worse for drink, so he takes advantage of them."

He agreed there was a "degree of deception".

Brian Sharman, mitigating, said Cerqueira holds a dual passport for Portugal and Brazil. He has limited English skills, and has lived in the UK for 10 years.

"He was employed with a major chain as a shelf stacker," Mr Sharman said.

"It is indicative of his essential decency, setting aside this case, which I accept is serious, that he comes to the country and finds work that enables him to overcome the impediment of not speaking English."

Cerqueira was sentenced to six years in prison. He must also register as a sex offender.

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Constable Andy Hale, of Bournemouth CID, said: "I wish to praise the bravery of both victims for coming forward and supporting the investigation.

"Cerqueira is a predator who went out and targeted young lone men and subjected them to horrific sexual assaults. I hope the sentence handed out by the court will bring them some comfort that their attacker is firmly behind bars.

"Never accept a lift home from someone you do not know and if you have ordered a taxi ensure the vehicle you are getting into is licensed. Never get into an unlicensed vehicle.

"Dorset Police takes all sexual offences extremely seriously and we have a specialist team of officers who will investigate and ensure all victims are supported.

"I would ask that anyone who has been affected by this case to please contact police."