A Romanian serial rapist attacked a 28-year-old woman just a week after arriving in the UK, police said.

Mihai Roban, 47, was jailed for seven years and eight months at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to raping the victim as she walked home from a bar in Finchley, north London.

Scotland Yard said he had two previous convictions for rape in his home country of Romania and arrived in the UK a week before carrying out the attack in the early hours of January 20.

He took the woman behind a public toilet and was found with the victim by police after a passer-by heard her cries for help and raised the alarm.

Detective Sergeant Michael Daly, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “Roban had only been in the country for a week when he carried out this attack.

“When we conducted inquiries with police in his home country of Romania we discovered that he had two previous convictions for rape and prison is the right place for him.

“He maintained his innocence until the week before the trial was due to start which brought further anguish to his victim.

“The victim has been incredibly strong throughout the investigation and I hope that knowing Roban will be in prison for some time will help her to move on from her horrible ordeal.

“I also wish to thank the member of the public for doing the right thing and calling the police when they heard the victim’s calls for help, as well as the investigation team for their excellent work and their continued dedication supporting victims of rape and bringing the offenders to justice.”

Roban was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.