A man who targeted a pensioner and raped her in her own home has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Robert Lashley, who’s thirty three years old, was found guilty of rape at Isleworth Crown Court in January.
He’s been ordered to serve a minimum sentence of seven and a half years before he is considered for release.
The court heard that Lashley had targeted his 80 year old victim as she left her home in Shepherd’s Bush to go to a newsagents at 7.30 am on 16th of August 2014.
Lashley loitered outside the victim’s block of flats where she lived alone.
He followed her into the communal entrance when she returned from the shop.
He then forced his way into her flat and raped her.
The victim reported the assault to police.
Lashley was arrested on the day after the assault after officers recognised his image on CCTV footage from outside the victim’s block of flats.
He was charged later the same day.
The police say the victim bravely gave evidence against him in court’, which lead to his successful conviction.
Lashley had previously received an eight year sentence in 2004 for a similar rape on a 59 year old woman.
Officers believe that Lashley may have targeted other women and are appealing for further possible victims to come forward.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Lucy Mawdsley said:
Robert Lashley is a sexual predator who on 16 August 2014 targeted one of the most vulnerable members of our community and subjected her to an horrific sexual assault. This was all the more distressing as the offence occurred in her home, where she should have felt safe. I hope that the sentence today reflects how seriously the police and courts view this type of vile offending.
I also hope that this sentence will encourage more victims of sexual offending to approach police, in the knowledge you will be believed no matter what age you are, and that the police will seek prosecutions for sexual offences.
I would like to pay tribute to the victim of this offence. She is a spirited lady who showed great courage and determination, not only during the offence, but also in attending court and giving evidence against Lashley. She has found this experience extremely traumatic and I hope she can recover from this to enjoy her retirement in peace.
Police are taking the step of releasing Lashley’s image today. If you think you have been a victim of Robert Lashley, I would ask you to come forward and speak to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.