Man jailed for sexually assaulting stranded driver - Oakley

26/02/2016

Robert Wright came across a woman driver, who was stranded after her car suffered a puncture near Oakley in Bedfordshire, and instead of helping her, sexually assaulted her.

He tried to drag her into a field, but hadn't reckoned on the courage of his victim who fought back headbutting and elbowing him.

Luton Crown Court heard today, Friday, 26 February 2016, that he was forced to make his escape on his bike, and in doing so dropped his plastic lunchbox. It was to provide Bedfordshire police with a valuable clue to the identity of the attacker when a sample of his DNA was recovered from the box. Three months later Wright, aged 37, of Walnut Close, Pavenham was arrested.

He appeared for sentence having been found guilty by a jury in December of sexually assaulting the woman driver.

It was the early evening of 08 June 2015, that the woman, who is in her early 40s, was driving to her home through the village of Oakley. Unfortunately, her car suffered a puncture and she was forced to pull into a layby on the road approaching a roundabout giving access to the A6 Oakley Road. Because of the position of her car, it couldn't actually be seen by passing motorists and five minutes later Wright came up on his bicycle.

Prosecutor Will Noble told the court the woman could smell alcohol on Wright and felt uncomfortable by his presence.

Judge Stuart Bridge was told she felt he was getting too close to her and invading her personal space.

Mr Noble said Wright said he would try and help, but as the woman was reachng into the vehicle she suddenly became away of his arms reaching around her waist and his hand went up her skirt. The court heard Wright then struggled with the woman as he tried to drag her into a field, but he hadn't counted on her putting up such a fight and he was forced to make off.

Judge Bridge was told that Wright had a long list of previous offences including two sexual matters. One conviction was for indecent assault.

Passing sentence, the Judge told Wright: "This was a particularly frightening assault, an opportunistic attack on a stranger who was alone at the roadside. She thought she was going to be raped."

The Judge said that since the end of the trial, in which Wright had been found guilty, he was now admitting his guilt. He told Wright that because of the danger he posed to the public, particularly women, he was going to pass an extended sentence for the protection of the public. As a result, he passed an extended sentence of eight years. He told Wright the custodial element of the sentence was a four year jail term. The period he is on licence once he has been released from jail will run for four years.

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