Brandon's rape 'terror'

PUBLISHED: 15:39 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:43 07 July 2010

COMMUNITY leaders have described how the news of a double rape struck “terror through the heart” of Brandon.

COMMUNITY leaders have described how the news of a double rape struck “terror through the heart” of Brandon.

Residents were left stunned and shocked when it emerged two women had been raped by one man in different parts of town.

They awoke on an April Sunday morning to find heightened numbers of police officers patrolling the town and Mill Hill and The Avenue cordoned off.

It quickly emerged that two women, one in her 30s and one in her 20s, had been raped in a single hour. Both were badly beaten and one of the victims was so badly hurt she needed hospital treatment.

The shocking incidents came less than a year after Robert English, a married father-of-two from Fiddlewood Green in Norwich, kidnapped a 21-year-old woman from the Tesco store in Brandon before raping her.

He was originally sentenced to life imprisonment serving a minimum of seven and a half years but last week that was cut to five years and four months by appeal court judges.

Community leaders voiced their relief that Christopher Armstrong had admitted both rapes when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court.

They also expressed their hopes that such incidents would never again happen in the town.

Bill Bishop, county and district councillor for Brandon, said: “These sorts of things really do strike us with terror through our hearts.

It is a quiet sort of town and anything like this does upset us greatly. We are very, very pleased he got found and that the police got him and that he has pleaded guilty. It means those poor girls will not have to go through the trauma of giving evidence. I hope it will deter people from ever doing this sort of thing again in Brandon or anywhere else.”

Speaking about the case Chief Insp John Brocklebank said the incidents had left the victims with ongoing psychological trauma.

He said the case had also proved “harrowing” for the force's investigating officers.

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