|Christopher Ker Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison|
For attempted rapes and sexual assaults on women in Grove Park
Christopher Ker was sentenced to eight years at Isleworth Crown Court for two attempted rapes, sexual touching and common assault on 26th June in the vicinity of Chiswick rail station.
DS Katie Lilburn, MPS Hounslow Sapphire unit who led the investigation said, "First of all I must commend the members of the public who came out of their homes on hearing the screams of Ker's fourth victim. Without their prompt response I believe I would have been investigating a rape. Too often the papers report stories of people walking by which thankfully did not happen that night. These people were not prepared to ignore the screams and I am sure they stopped an even worse crime being committed.
"The victims involved in these incidents have shown great courage throughout this investigation and I applaud the strength they have demonstrated. Without their courage in reporting these incidents to police and supporting the investigations Ker may not have been apprehended and could still be out there.
"I am grateful that Ker, on seeing the weight of evidence provided against him, made the decision to plead guilty and did not force the victims to give evidence in court.
"Operation Sapphire are specialist investigation teams set up to investigate sexual assaults, anyone who is the victim of such assaults should contact police, no matter how long ago, so that you can get the support and help you may need."
23 year old Christopher Ker was found guilty of the attacks on women in the Grove Park area in June. He pleaded guilty at Isleworth CC on 5th November to two attempted rapes, sexual touching and common assault.
At 19.15 on Tuesday 26th June the first victim, a 16 year old girl and a friend were walking along Station Approach opposite Chiswick rail station when they were approached by Ker who asked them for a light. They allowed him to use their lighter and then walked on. At approx 22.00 the victim was walking back along Station Approach, this time alone. As she walked along Cavendish Rd she noticed Ker and this time he stopped and asked her for a cigarette, which she gave him, and he continued to walk near her engaging her in conversation.
As the victim walked into Station Approach Ker touched her, she moved his hand and pushed his arm away. The victim then ran as she saw her bus and managed to get on the bus leaving Ker behind.
At 22.45 also on 26th June the second victim, a 34 year old woman, was walking home from the station along Burlington Lane when she became aware of Ker, who appeared to be hanging around. He approached the victim and asked if she would do him a favour, she replied no but Ker then attempted to put his arm round her and tried to lead her somewhere. The victim struggled and told him in a loud voice to leave her alone and Ker walked off.
Ker's third victim, a 33 year old woman, was walking along Devonshire Gardens at 23.00 when Ker jumped on her from behind, forcing her to the floor and then attempted to rape her. When a car passed, the victim managed to escape, run home and alert police.
45 minutes later at approx 23.45 Ker's fourth victim, a 36 year old woman, was walking along Sutton Court Rd when she was hit on her head by Ker and forced to the floor, where he continued hitting her and tearing off her clothing before attempting to rape her. The victim kept screaming for help and a local resident hearing the screams came to her aid and attempted to detain Ker but he managed to get away prior to the police arrival.
Christopher Ker was arrested on Wednesday 1st August and charged with the four offences. His sentence was broken down as follows :
all to run concurrently.
December 12, 2007