Chessington man found guilty of raping woman in her 70s

Robert Richards

Robert Richards

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A man has been found guilty of raping and attempting to kill a pensioner in Chessington.

Robert Richards, 22, from Chessington, was convicted of rape, attempted rape and attempted murder at Kingston Crown Court this afternoon.

He was arrested on October 23, 2013, the same day a woman in her 70s had been sexually and violently attacked in her own home in the early hours of the morning.

When he was arrested, he was found to be wearing two pairs of tracksuit bottoms.

One of the them was covered in the blood of the victim.

Richards claimed he had found the trousers on his way to work as a Labourer at Eel Pie Island that morning, and had put them on because he was cold.

The victim, who gave evidence during the trial, sustained a broken hip, vertebrae, jaw and several ribs in the attack.

Richards claimed he was out buying teabags at the time of the attack, and was captured on CCTV doing so. 

The crown said he committed the attack and went to the shop to deliberately be seen on camera, giving himself an alibi.

It took the jury just over nine hours to reach their verdict, finding him unanymously guilty of attempted rape and rape, and attempted murder by majority. 

Detective Inspector Nicky Arrowsmith, from the Met Police's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and ChildAbuse Command, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the spirit and courage displayed by the victim, who gave evidence during the trial.

"I would also like to thank the witnesses who helped the victim shortly after the offence and also for giving evidence in court.

"Thankfully this type of violent offence is rare and I hope that the swift identification, arrest and charge of Richards will give other victims of sexual offences the confidence to come forward in the belief that they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity by specially trained detectives who are committed to supporting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

Richards will be sentenced on August 4.

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