Peterborough teen who raped woman at knifepoint at Rhubarb Bridge sectioned

A teenager who raped a woman on a Peterborough footpath in broad daylight, before sexually assaulting another woman less than a week later at the same location, has been handed an indefinite hospital order.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 11:27 am

The 16 year old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, raped the woman on the morning of 30 September 2017, before then sexually assaulting and robbing another victim at just after 1pm on 6 October.

The crimes took place on Bretton Way cycle path, near to Rhubarb Bridge in Peterborough .

On September 30 last year, a woman was walking along the path when she saw the teenager run up behind her and pull a large kitchen knife from his trousers.

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Police officers putting out notices and talking to passers-by on a walkway between Rhubarb Bridge at North Bretton - the scene of a recent assault EMN-170710-200908009

The woman screamed, but was told to be quiet by the defendant from Peterborough, who then forced her into some nearby bushes and raped her.

The woman, 24, managed to run away from him before reporting the incident to police.

DNA found on the rape victim’s shirt was later recovered and analysed, with forensic experts stating there was a ‘one in a billion’ chance it did not belong to the defendant.

At approximately 1pm on October 6, another woman was walking along the same footpath when the 16 year old approached her from behind and slapped her bottom.

He then grabbed her by the arms and told her, ‘I’m going to take your bag’, before snatching her handbag and running off.

The handbag was recovered from some nearby bushes by officers and the victim’s purse, containing her bank cards and £20, were missing.

The incident lasted about 10 minutes, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

In police interview, the teenager claimed the sex with his first victim was consensual. He answered no comment to all other questions put to him.

In November the teenager was tried in his absence at Cambridge Crown Court, charged with rape, robbery, sexual assault and possessing a knife in a public place.

Jurors found that the defendant, who was ruled not fit to stand trial, did commit the rape and sexual assault.

He was sentenced at the same court yesterday (20 May) where he was given a section 37 hospital order, to run indefinitely. He was also handed a restraining order preventing him from contacting the two victims in the case, again to run indefinitely.

DCI Adam Gallop, who investigated together with DC Denise Brown, said: “This was a complex case and devastating for the victims, who both showed courage and strength throughout.

“The rape victim agreed to take part in 24 Hours in Police Custody and gave a first-hand account of the impact it had on her. I hope her story inspires others to contact us if they are victims of similar offences.

“When DC Brown called her to say we had charged someone for her case she said it was one of the happiest days of her life; for me that really captures why we became officers - to make a positive difference when the public have been through truly horrendous experiences.

“We take all offences of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously and will do all we can to bring offenders to justice.”