Rapist who attacked teenage girl after following her off bus is jailed
A MAN who raped a teenage girl after following her off a bus has been jailed for nine years.
Michael Murray followed his victim off a bus when it stopped on Stapleton Road before subjecting her to what police described as an “unimaginable experience” on nearby Belle Vue Road, on January 9.
His victim was able to give police a detailed description and he was caught after detectives spotted him on CCTV footage taken in the area around the time of the incident.
The 29 year old, of no fixed address, was described as a “dangerous” man the public need protecting from by the judge who sentenced him.
Judge Julian Lambert said the rape was a “cold and calculated attack” which involved a significant degree of planning.
Murray appeared via video link at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday, when he pleaded guilty to rape and a separate charge of common assault after he hit a woman in the face with a lit cigarette after she rebuffed his advances.
The judge ordered Murray to register as a sex offender for life and said he would be subject to a six-year extended licence period after the end of his prison term.
He has also been ordered never to contact his two victims and has been banned from contacting any female under 18 years of age, unless this is unavoidable or with parental/social services consent.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Toms said: “Michael Murray poses a significant risk to women and, in particular, to teenage girls and it’s reassuring to know he will now be locked up for a lengthy period of time.
“Sexual assaults by strangers are rare in Avon and Somerset but when they do happen we do everything we can to identify offenders and bring them to justice.
“In this case, detectives spent days capturing and reviewing CCTV from a variety of sources along the route taken by the victim and offender as part of their investigation before managing to find footage of Murray in the area.
"On arrest, Murray was confronted with some of CCTV evidence and admitted being the man in the footage but originally denied the offence.
“His teenage victim endured an unimaginable experience and we’ve ensured she’s had access to all the specialist support she needs.
“I hope the significant sentence handed to her attacker gives her closure and now allows her to move on.”
Avon and Somerset police are encouraging victims of rape or other sexual offences not to “suffer in silence” and have stressed they will take all reports seriously, work with partners to provide appropriate support and investigate “all proportionate lines of enquiry”.
They have called on anyone who thinks they may have also been targeted by Murray to call 101 and ask to speak to Bristol Investigations.
Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, recent or non-recent, can also contact The Bridge, a sexual assault referral centre available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by visiting their website or calling 0117 342 6999.