Skip to main content

Accessibility controls

Text size
Contrast

Nottingham knifepoint robber sentenced for rape of sex worker

|News, Sexual offences , Violent crime

A Nottingham man has been sentenced for a series of violent robberies that culminated in him raping one of the victims.

Aaron Gardner robbed five sex workers at knifepoint over a four-month period. He posed as a client and arranged to meet in a hotel room. Once trapped in the room, he threatened victims with a knife and robbed them of cash they were carrying. The robberies got progressively more violent and sexual in nature, forcing victims to lie on the floor and take off their clothes. When he attacked his fifth victim, his actions escalated to rape.

Gardner was identified by phone and CCTV evidence from the attacks on the first two victims and he was charged with robbery. Further evidence linked him to the three other robberies and the rape and he was charged with these offences. In the face of compelling evidence putting him at the scene of the robberies, he claimed that he had only stolen the money and not used violence and denied the allegation of rape. He was tried at Nottingham Crown Court and convicted of rape, five counts of robbery and  firearms offence. He was today (27 November) sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Charlotte Caulton-Scott from the CPS said: “Aaron Gardner subjected all of these victims to a terrifying, degrading ordeal. The victims all said they were in fear for their lives and left particularly vulnerable by the degrading nature of the attacks.

“There was clear and compelling evidence that he was the attacker and of the violent nature of the robberies. We were determined to prosecute him for rape as well. Although each of the robbery offences were horrific in their own right, rape has a unique level of seriousness and it was important that Gardner should be brought to justice for the full extent of his crimes.

“The rape victim gave compelling evidence about the way he treated her, using humiliation as well as violence. During the attack, Gardner tried to imply she was to blame for the rape. Let us be clear that perpetrators alone are responsible for rape and no victim is ever to blame. This is a terrible rape myth that CPS lawyers are trained to recognise and challenge in our work. It was Gardner alone who exploited the vulnerability of the victim’s situation and inflicted this ordeal on her.

“I have the utmost respect for the jury who, in returning a guilty verdict, have shown that the previously-held myth that a victim’s occupation or personal circumstances will not be not a barrier to justice. Most of all, I respect the victim in this case for providing the evidence to convict such a dangerous offender.”

Building the case

Aaron Gardner was identified as the attacker by the victims and was placed at the scene through phone and CCTV evidence. Searches of his house revealed additional evidence that he had carried out the attacks.

The key factor in the decision to prosecute for rape was the evidence of the victim. She gave a compelling account of her ordeal. There was never any question of consent to sexual activity. The victim had already been subdued by violence, threats and humiliation, which were consistent with the other attacks.

Notes to editors

  • Aaron Garner was found guilty of:
    • five counts of robbery
    • one count of rape
    • one count of having a firearm with intent
  • Charlotte Caulton-Scott is the head of rape and serious sexual offences for CPS East Midlands
  • Garner was sentenced to 19 years in custody with an extended licence period of five years.

Further reading

Scroll to top