Man jailed for kidnapping and sexually assaulting teenage girls in Bracknell

18/10/2010

A man was jailed at Reading Crown Court on 15 October for sex attacks on teenage girls in Bracknell. Michael Bryant, 41, from Tottenham, London, was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum tariff of seven years; minus 133 days he has already spent in custody. On 3 September, Bryant had pleaded guilty to 14 charges relating to offences he had committed during November 2009 and May 2010.

CPS Principal Crown Advocate, Ben Gumpert, said: 'This man is every parent's worst nightmare. Short of causing death the offences he has committed are among the most serious that the courts have to deal with. The girls who are the victims of these offences have shown considerable bravery and strength of character in dealing with the terrifying ordeals that Terry Bryant put them through.

'He denied his part in these atrocious offences throughout, only finally admitting his guilt shortly before his first appearance at the Crown Court. He has today been brought back before the courts for them to determine an appropriate sentence for his crimes. I can only hope that his victims are now able to move forward with their lives in the future.'

On 4 November 2009, a 16-year-old girl was walking in the Warfield area of Bracknell. A man walked past her, stopped and asked for directions, then grabbed her by the neck, said he had a knife and stole her mobile phone and iPod. He then forced her to get into a parked car, putting a hat over her head as a blindfold. The man drove her to an unknown location, where he subjected her to a serious sexual assault.

On 6 May 2010, a 14-year-old girl arrived home in Bracknell at about 5.15pm and noticed a scruffy man behaving suspiciously in a nearby alleyway. Shortly afterwards she answered a knock at the door to see the same man. The family's dog was barking and ran outside, so the girl went to put it in the kitchen. She returned to find the man inside the house. He demanded money, grabbed her by the arm, threatened her and forced her to walk along the street with him. The girl eventually managed to break free and ran off to raise the alarm with a neighbour.

Later that same evening, a 15-year-old girl called her mother at around 6.25pm to say she was on her way home after taking part in sporting activities at her school. As she walked along in the Wildridings area of Bracknell listening to her iPod, a man grabbed her by the neck. He threatened to kill her, put a hat over her eyes and forced her into a car, then drove to an unknown location, where he threatened her with a gun and subjected her to a serious sexual assault. The man then drove her back to Wildridings, still blindfolded with the hat.

An investigation was launched by the Thames Valley Police Major Crime unit. Despite their ordeals, the victims were able to give police detailed descriptions of the offender, his clothing, the car journey and items present at the scene of the crimes. CCTV footage recovered by detectives showed a black Toyota Celica belonging to Terry Bryant travelling along Crowthorne Road at 6.36pm on 6 May, close to the time of the third abduction, and again at 9.03pm, close to the time the girl was dropped off.

During the early hours of 2 June, detectives called at Warfield Turf at Malt Hill, Warfield, passing through a gate and a metal barrier, following a tip-off from a member of the public. Parked at the site was a large trailer with barn-style doors, approached via four steps. Officers found Terry Bryant inside the trailer and arrested him on suspicion of kidnap, rape and attempted kidnap. Parked at the site was Bryant's black Toyota Celica from which they seized a laptop computer.

Bryant was taken to Maidenhead police station for questioning, after which, a detective noticed something on the floor. It was a memory card from a mobile phone, and was found to contain indecent images taken during one of the sexual assaults. The laptop seized by police from Bryant's car also contained indecent images of children. Detailed investigations by Scenes of Crime officers recovered fibres and other forensic evidence that established links between the victims and the offender.

Supt. Rob Mason, senior investigating officer, said: 'Terry Bryant is undoubtedly a very dangerous man. The offences he committed were truly horrific and would leave any reasonable person feeling repulsed. He preyed on innocent young girls who were going about their normal day-to-day lives. Two of the girls were subjected to serious sexual assaults after being abducted from the streets and a third was grabbed from her home but thankfully managed to escape. Ultimately, Bryant was caught as a result of their bravery and full co-operation during the investigation.'

Ch. Insp. Simon Bowden, police commander for Bracknell, said: 'Crime can have a devastating effect on its victims, and people often remain a victim of crime until the effect on their life has dissipated. My thoughts remain with the young women and their families. Bryant committed such horrid crimes that they will be affected for a long time by his actions.  While the criminal justice system can seek to punish him for his acts, it cannot repair the harm that has been done.'

Bryant pleaded guilty to three counts of kidnap, two counts of threats to kill, four counts of sexual assault, one count of robbery, one count of rape, one count of making indecent images, one count of possessing indecent images, and one count of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of false imprisonment and one count of threats to kill.