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Rapist jailed for life

PUBLISHED: 17:03 03 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 07 July 2010

Adam Gretton

A 58-year-old Norwich handyman was today jailed for life today for raping a “Good Samaritan''

after abducting her from a supermarket car park.

Robert English, of the Fiddlewood Estate, targeted his 21-year-old victim at Tesco, in Brandon, in a “well thought-out plan.

A 58-year-old Norwich handyman was today jailed for life today for raping a Good Samaritan after abducting her from a supermarket car park.

Robert English, of the Fiddlewood Estate, targeted his 21-year-old victim at Tesco, in Brandon, in a “well thought-out plan.”

Judge Neil McKittrick jailed English for life with a recommendation he will not be eligible for parole for at least seven years.

He was put on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

“You took advantage of this good Samaritan by kidnapping her in a most frightening way. This was a well-thought-out plan to kidnap a young woman to satisfy your own lust and depravity.”

The judge praised the victim for her courage and bravery and the police for the way they carried out the investigation.

English asked the woman for help in loading a heavy bag into his 4x4 vehicle on the afternoon of June 14, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

When she agreed, English pulled out a knife and told her to “shut up” and get into the car.

The woman was driven about 20 miles to a mobile home owned by English in Hockwold, near Thetford.

She was then raped by English and ordered to perform various sex acts.

English - a man of previous good character who also worked as a water bailiff - pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, sexual assault, assault by penetration and two counts of rape.

He gave no explanation why he carried out the offences.

TIMELINE

Saturday June 14 - A 21-year-old woman calls police to say that she was abducted by a man in Brandon Tesco car park at 2.15pm and subjected to a three hour sex attack at an unknown location, before being dumped at Wimbledon Avenue, in Brandon.

Sunday June 15 - Suffolk Police announce they are investigating an allegation of rape after the victim was duped into helping a middle-aged man with his heavy shopping bags.

Monday June 16 - Detectives urge women to be on their guard and praise the bravery of the victim as the force's major investigation team (MIT) is mobilised to coordinate the manhunt. A description is released of the offender and his distinctive 4x4 vehicle. Police reveal that the Good Samaritan was taken to an isolated caravan or cabin 20 minutes away where she was raped.

Tuesday June 17 - Police begin the process of trawling through hours of CCTV images as the police helicopter is mobilised to find the location of the rape scene. It also emerges that the offender threatened the victim with a knife.

Wednesday June 18 - Officers announce that they will be handing out free rape alarms to women in the town and will place a mobile police station at the Tesco car park in London Road.

Thursday June 19 - Police issue an e-fit likeness of the scruffy, dirty, middle-aged man responsible for the abduction and rape of the 21-year-old shopper.

Friday June 20 - The MIT reveals that it has received more than 130 calls and emails from the public with information.

Saturday June 21 - Detectives praise the “excellent” response of the public as they speak to more than 500 shoppers on the one week anniversary of the attack.

Tuesday June 24 - Police appeal for more CCTV footage as they follow up 200 leads from the public.

Friday June 27 - Officers make a fresh appeal for information and translate posters and leaflets into Polish and Portuguese after speaking to more than 1,000 people about the abduction and rape.

Wednesday July 9 - Police announce that a mobile station is set to return to Brandon Tesco as the one month anniversary of the incident approaches and the investigation appears to be going cold.

Thursday July 10 - The investigation takes a dramatic turn when a 58-year-old man from Norwich is arrested at his city home on suspicion of abduction and rape.

Saturday July 12 - Robert English, of Fiddlewood Road, Norwich, is charged with kidnap, false imprisonment, and two counts of rape.

Monday July 14 - The 58-year-old is remanded in custody after appearing at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court. Magistrates hear that English's DNA was found on the victim and there was CCTV evidence of him being at Brandon Tesco at the time of the offence.

Friday September 12 - English pleads guilty to abducting the 21-year-old woman, false imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault and two of rape at a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

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