Man who sexually targeted vulnerable woman on bus jailed
A man who sexually targeted a vulnerable woman riding alone on a bus has been jailed for seven years and seven months.
Christopher Bowery, 36, boarded a bus in North Tyneside on 26 November 2019 and made his way to the top deck, where he approached a woman, claiming to have had some money stolen.
The victim, who suffers from cognitive impairment which makes it difficult to process information, gave Bowery £3 and he sat down beside her.
He then forced her to perform sex acts on him and the entire incident was captured on CCTV.
Phillippa Wylie, for CPS North East, said: “Bowery is a sexual predator who preyed on the generosity of a vulnerable woman. Her cognitive impairment would have been obvious - but he forced her to perform appalling acts for his own gratification.
“We take this type of offending incredibly seriously and are here to support victims. In this instance, special measures were put in place to make it easier for the victim to give evidence by allowing her cross-examination to be pre-recorded ahead of the trial.
“I commend the victim for her bravery in reporting this crime and supporting the prosecution’s case.”
During the investigation, the driver, who had been monitoring the situation on a screen in his cab, said he felt uncomfortable because of the way Bowery had been acting towards the victim.
He noticed Bowery unzipping his trousers so pulled the bus over and asked him to leave the vehicle. He let the defendant off first before dropping the victim at a different stop.
The police were subsequently able to trace Bowery and he was arrested on suspicion of rape, which he denied.
He later pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice when the case was listed for trial at Newcastle Crown Court on 31 May 2022.
Notes to editors
- Phillippa Wylie is a senior crown prosecutor at CPS North East.
- Christopher Bowery (DOB 15/11/1985) was convicted of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice when the case was listed for trial at Newcastle Crown Court on 31 May 2022.
- Initiatives across the country to drive up the number of rape prosecutions are set out in our report, Closing the Gap.
- Victims can report sexual offences to their local police on 101 or call 999 if they are in immediate danger. For confidential support, victims can speak to Rape Crisis and Victim Support.