A 32-year-old man has been found guilty at the Old Bailey for the violent rape and indecent assault of two women in churchyards including the assault last year at Chiswick Parish Church.

Christopher Douglas Hodge (left), unemployed, of 160 Welbeck Road, Harrow, committed the first offence on 5th September last year in the church yard at All Saint's Church, Broad Walk in Heston at 03:00 when he robbed a 21 yr old woman and indecently assaulted her after threatening her with a silver handgun.

At 08.55 that day a 22-year-old woman was raped in the churchyard at St Nicholas Parish Church, Church Street, Chiswick.

A description of the man believed to be the rapist was circulated to officers on the same morning and as a result a sergeant from Hounslow spotted him and called for back up. Uniformed officers attended and arrested him for possession of cannabis even though they believed he was armed at the time. He was then taken into custody.

Three days later (8.6.02) police charged him with robbery, indecent assault, possession of cannabis, and 16a, possession of a firearm or imitation with intent to cause fear. He has been found guilty of two counts of robbery, one count of indecent assault, two counts of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence.

Eleven of twelve jurors found him guilty after five hours' deliberation at the Old Bailey. Judge Henry Blacksell reportedly said: "Rarely has a court heard such evidence as this. I consider him an extremely dangerous man and he must be under no illusions at all that I am not considering a life sentence."

DCI Allan Aubeelack, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: "This was an awful attack leaving the victims traumatised. I would also like to thank the victims for their courage in coming forward, and helping to prosecute this man. I am pleased with the verdict today and would like to thank the officers in the case for their swift action in arresting this man"

He added that the Met takes sexual offences very seriously and that anyone who believes that they have been a victim of indecent assault or rape in the Hounslow area should contact the police on 020 8247 6138.


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