A man who assaulted a woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Joseph Galloway, 68 (03.06.50) of Upper Richmond Road, SW14, was sentenced to life to serve a minimum of five years - with the following offences to run concurrently - on Tuesday, 12 February, at Kingston Crown Court:
- Four years’ imprisonment for false imprisonment;
- Four years and 10 months’ imprisonment for robbery;
- Six months’ imprisonment for possession of a bladed article.
He previously pleaded guilty at the same court on Monday, 11 February, to robbery and false imprisonment with intent to commit a sexual offence.
The court heard that around 21:20hrs on 5 September 2018, the victim, a woman in her 20s, exited Colliers Wood Underground Station and walked towards a bus stop nearby on High Street.
During the time the victim took to walk this short distance, Galloway, who was hanging round the tube station, watched her and followed her onto a bus.
The victim, who did not realise she was being watched, got off the bus and began to walk home. Galloway got off the bus at the same stop before attacking her from behind.
The victim fought back and screamed, but Galloway continued in his attempt to sexually assault her. He then pushed the victim to the ground, at which point Galloway began rooting through her bag and stole her purse.
Galloway then fled the scene, back towards the tube station.
A witness, who heard the victim’s screams and saw part of the attack, immediately called police.
Following the call, the witness then followed Galloway and boarded the same train. She noted Galloway’s appearance, including his tattoos, something which later helped officers identify him.
She also noted the station he got off, seeing him exit the underground at Tooting Broadway Station. Due to this, police were able to obtain CCTV footage and track Galloway’s Oyster Card. This information showed that he frequented areas in Mortlake, Merton.
Officers from the Mortlake Safer Neighbourhoods Team gained CCTV images which, upon inspection by officers from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO), led to the identification of Galloway.
He was subsequently arrested on 9 September 2018, less than an hour after CASO officers identified him.
Detective Inspector Rory Wilkinson, from CASO, said: “I welcome the court’s decision to keep this dangerous man away from society, he has proved himself to be a serial offender with no remorse and a capability of committing heinous crimes of this nature again.
“The victim’s bravery throughout the whole identification and court process has been remarkable and reflects her actions of defence during the attack.
“Not only did she avoid serious injury but also stopped Galloway committing a serious sexual offence against her. In fighting back she alerted a passer-by who subsequently called and assisted police.
“I would lastly like to thank this witness, who not only called police but followed the suspect, enabling us to identify him. With her assistance we were able to make a swift arrest and hold Galloway accountable for his actions.”