PREDA­TORY OF­FENDER JAILED FOR 15 YEARS

AT­TACKER WHO PREYED ON LONE WOMEN IS GIVEN A 15-YEAR SEN­TENCE

Harefield Gazette - - Front Page - AMANI HUGHES amani.hughes@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @GetSur­reyA­mani

A “PREDA­TORY of­fender” who at­tacked and sex­u­ally as­saulted women walk­ing alone has been jailed for 15 years.

Thomas Biggs, 22, of Wrays­bury Drive, West Dray­ton, was sen­tenced at Isle­worth Crown Court on Friday May 26.

He had pre­vi­ously pleaded guilty on Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 27 to as­sault by pen­e­tra­tion, sex­ual as­sault of a fe­male, at­tempted sex­ual as­sault of a fe­male, two counts of at­tempted kid­nap and two counts of rob­bery.

Biggs’ vic­tims were groped and thrown on the ground where they were sex­u­ally as­saulted in a “de­grad­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing” way and on one oc­ca­sion a vic­tim’s hand­bag was stolen af­ter an at­tack.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Daniel Lang­ton said: “Biggs is a preda­tory of­fender who at­tacked lone women in pub­lic, and the at­tacks seemed to es­ca­late in terms of the vi­o­lence used. These at­tacks were de­grad­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing for the vic­tims who have been in­cred­i­bly brave in pro­vid­ing us with ac­counts of what hap­pened to them and de­scrip­tions of the sus­pect.”

Biggs’ first at­tack hap­pened on April 17 2016 when he as­saulted a jog­ger as she was run­ning along a tow­path on the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal.

He grabbed her up­per body as she ran passed him and when she tried to scream he put his hand over her mouth and they both fell to the ground. Biggs sex­u­ally as­saulted her be­fore she man­aged to run away.

He then sex­u­ally as­saulted a 37-year-old woman as she walked along a canal tow­path in Iver, Buck­ing­hamshire, in June 2016.

In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, Biggs tried to drag a 33-year-old woman to­wards an al­ley­way in West Dray­ton in July 2016, af­ter he jumped out from be­hind a hedge and grabbed her, as she walked along Merivale Mews, off Tav­i­s­tock Road.

She man­aged to fight him off and break free from his grip and he ran off to­wards Tav­i­s­tock Road.

Later that year, on Oc­to­ber 30, a 33-year-old woman had got off a Route 350 bus in West Dray­ton and was walk­ing along Sta­tion Road to­wards West Dray­ton rail­way sta­tion to call a taxi.

As she was walk­ing, a man rode past her on a bicycle and groped her. The vic­tim shouted at him as she rode away and the man then stopped and dropped his bike on the pave­ment.

He grabbed her and pushed her up against a wall and sex­u­ally as­saulted her, try­ing to re­move her skirt and un­der­wear. He then threw her on the ground and com­mit­ted a se­ri­ous sex­ual as­sault.

When he got up and cy­cled off, he stole the woman’s hand­bag.

The vic­tim’s hus­band later called her phone which had been stolen and he re­ceived a text from the sus­pect.

The fi­nal at­tack hap­pened the fol­low­ing day, on Oc­to­ber 31, as a 43-year-old woman was walk­ing home from the gym.

She cut through an al­ley­way in Uxbridge, link­ing St Johns Road and Cul­vert Lane, and saw a man run­ning to­wards her. She got out of the way to let him pass but he ran at her and threw her to the floor, caus­ing her to bang her head on the con­crete floor.

The vic­tim suf­fered in­juries, for which she needed hos­pi­tal treat­ment. The at­tacker stole her ruck­sack and ran to­wards St Johns Road and the con­tents of the bag were later dis­cov­ered in a nearby park.

De­tec­tives linked the of­fences, two of which were in­ves­ti­gated by Thames Val­ley Police, and Met Police launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Of­fi­cers car­ried out ex­ten­sive CCTV en­quiries and an­a­lysed phone sig­nals from when the sus­pect sent the text mes­sage.

An e-fit of the sus­pect was is­sued as part of an ap­peal and Biggs was iden­ti­fied as a po­ten­tial sus­pect.

Biggs was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of sex­ual as­saults, rob­bery and pos­ses­sion of Class B drugs and was later iden­ti­fied by two vic­tims dur­ing am iden­tity pa­rade.

Ini­tially Biggs de­nied all charges against him, but changed his plea to guilty.

How­ever, he did plead not guilty to a third count of sex­ual as­sault in re­la­tion to an at­tack on a 22-year-old woman on a canal path in Hare­field, Uxbridge on May 22 2016 – this charge will lie on file.

Biggs will re­main on li­cence for a fur­ther five years and will re­main on the sex­ual of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter for life.

Thomas Biggs

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