CRIME: Would-be rapist struck 3 times

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A TEENAGER has been thrown behind bars for life for attempting to rape three city women.

A TEENAGER has been thrown behind bars for life for attempting to rape three city women.A TEENAGER has been thrown behind bars for life for attempting to rape three city women.

Evil Lee Graham (19) stood motionless in the dock at Nottingham Crown Court as he received three life sentences for the terrifying attacks.

He was also given time in a young offenders' institution for robbing and indecently assaulting his first victim, and beating the second woman's boyfriend senseless.

He pleaded guilty to the first attack but denied the other two, and was convicted by a jury.

Sex beast Graham, a forklift truck driver, was living in Paston Lane, Walton, with his girlfriend, her parents, and their new-born baby, when he attacked a 22-year-old woman in Thistlemoor Road, Peterborough.

The court heard he casually struck up a conversation with his victim, who was walking home from a night out on August 10, 2001. But events soon took a chilling turn when Graham asked the woman for a kiss.

She immediately refused, but the teenager could not take no for an answer. He pushed her against a wall, then took her into a yard, where he pinned his victim to the floor.

Graham tried to rape her, but indecent assaulted her, took 50 from her wallet and punched her in the face, before fleeing from the scene.

On the night of September 22, Graham was out on the prowl again.

Spotting a young couple walking across Stanley Park Recreation Ground in the city centre, he carried out a second, more brutal attack.

Graham bludgeoned the 26-year-old man to the ground with a piece of wood, then turned his attention on the girlfriend.

The court was told the teenager punched the 28-year-old in the face and put his hands tightly round her neck, forcing her to the ground. He tried to rape her but the screaming woman struggled free and ran for help.

Leaving the man for dead, disappointed Graham decided to find a new victim.

And within an hour, he set his sights on a woman walking home alone along nearby Crawthorne Road. He was only prevented from raping her when she bit him hard on the hand.

Afterwards, Graham went to Peterborough District Hospital for treatment to a fractured jaw, which he sustained during one of the attacks.

After an appeal in The Evening Telegraph, a member of the public told police he had been in casualty with his son at the same time as someone fitting the defendant's description. Police checked the hospital's records and CCTV footage which led them to him.

Mr Justice Gage recommended Graham serve eight years of the life sentences before being eligible for parole.

He was also given five years for indecent assault, six years for grievous bodily harm and two years for robbery and placed on the sex offenders' register.

"These were terrifying experiences for all of your victims," Mr Justice Gage said. "The trauma of your attacks will stay with them for many years.

"You were quite prepared to use substantial violence to satisfy your sexual demands. You represent a considerable danger to women and are likely to do so for some time to come."

'He won't be a danger to women for many years'

CITY police have praised Lee Graham's victims for their bravery after they helped trap the sex beast.

Speaking outside Nottingham Crown Court, Detective Sergeant Mick Gilbert said: "I'm very relieved on behalf of the victims. Having had to give their evidence on several occasions, which was extremely traumatic, they have helped achieve the desired result, meaning Graham will not be on the streets of Peterborough for a very long time.

"It's very hard to envisage a more serious offender than someone who is prepared to attack a couple walking home, leave the man for dead, then commit an attack on the woman. In my 21 years' service in Peterborough, I haven't known a sex offence of such a serious nature.

"The judge passed a life sentence, which is all we can hope for in a case like this. I find it hard to believe that Graham won't pose a danger to women for many more years."

He also praised witnesses who had led them to Graham.

DS Gilbert said: "I'd like to thank all the witnesses in the case, particularly the victims. Without their co-operation, we wouldn't have achieved this result.

"It's down to them that we managed to make an early arrest.

"If they hadn't come forward so quickly, it would have taken a lot longer to catch Graham, and who knows what he could have done in the meantime."

Attack victim pleased with outcome of the case

FOLLOWING the sentencing, Lee Graham's first victim issued a short statement.

She said: "I am very pleased with the result of the case, and grateful for the hard work and support provided by the police.

"I'm glad the judge took the matter so seriously, and I'm relieved that other women won't have to go through the same ordeal."

The other two women were not in court through illness, and the second victim's boyfriend is still being treated for the after effects of the brutal attack, nearly 18 months on.

The man, now aged 28, suffered a fractured skull, and spent weeks in intensive care. He will require medical attention for several years to come.