Gunman jailed for 15 years for sexual assault


A man was today imprisoned for 15 years after he had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to raping and sexually assaulting, at gunpoint, a 19-year-old female in the grounds of a church.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how the victim was heading home from the city and had caught a train on 6 December 2014 from New Street Station to Kings Norton railway station.

As she headed home, she was followed by 23-year-old Michael Ware, who was carrying an imitation firearm.

The defendant ran behind the victim, produced the firearm, threatened her and forced her to go with him into the grounds of St Nicolas' Church where he sexually assaulted her.

During the ordeal, the victim struggled with her attacker and managed to grab the gun from Ware enabling her to make her escape. She ran home and informed the police of what had happened.

Two days later, police spotted Ware near the scene of the attack following another female. On his arrest he was found in possession of a knife.

He was later charged, and today sentenced for offences of, rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, possessing an imitation firearm and having an article with a blade or point.

Karen Hackett, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Rape and Serious Sexual Assaults Offences Unit, said:

"Michael Ware is an extremely dangerous sexual predator who used a firearm and threats to sexual assault his victim, causing her substantial psychological trauma.

"Two days later, this time armed with a knife, he was found on the same streets again looking for another vulnerable lone female.

"Rape is one of the most serious and damaging crimes. I would like to take this opportunity of commending the victim for her bravery and for supporting the prosecution team in order to bring this individual to justice."