A man who hit a teenage girl over the head before dragging her into some bushes and raping her has been convicted following a trial.
Following a 12-day trial at Croydon Crown Court, William Trotter, 39 (01.02.81) of Dagonet Road, Bromley was found guilty of rape and kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence. He will be sentenced at the same court on Monday, 14 December.
On Thursday, 19 March the victim left a friend’s house in Petts Wood, Bromley and she walked to see another friend in Orpington, but found they were not home.
From there, the victim decided to get the N199 bus to Bromley to see her boyfriend.
The N199 bus travelled from St Mary Cray toward Trafalgar Square. At the Southborough Lane / Blackbrook Lane stop, Trotter boarded the bus.
As Trotter boarded the bus, the victim got off before realising she had got off at the wrong stop and re-boarded the bus behind Trotter.
The pair engaged in conversation for a matter of seconds before sitting down.
As the bus approached the next stop, the victim stood up in preparation to leave, as did Trotter.
The victim got off the bus when it stopped at the Southborough Library bus stop, turned right and began walking down Southborough Lane towards Turpington Lane.
Trotter paused momentarily and then got off the bus but initially turned left, as if to head in the opposite direction to the victim.
The court heard that when he initially got on the bus Trotter asked the driver if the bus went to Downham. The stop where he got off was nowhere near his apparent intended destination.
As the bus pulled away, the nearside camera of the bus captured Trotter starting to run down Southborough Lane in the same direction that the victim was walking.
Trotter pursued the victim as she walked along Turpington Lane.
As soon as she had crossed the road, near to a grassy area, Trotter hit the victim over the right side of her head with an unknown object.
The force of the blow knocked her to the ground.
Trotter then dragged the victim into some bushes where he raped her.
The court heard testimony from a witness who heard the victims’ terrified screams and saw Trotter leaning over the victim.
The witness immediately called police who arrived within four minutes of receiving the 999 call.
As officers arrived, the victim stumbled out of the bushes.
Officers saw Trotter in the bushes and moved to apprehend him. As they did so, he fled the scene climbing over a fence into nearby allotments.
A media appeal was issued on the day of the attack appealing for witnesses. The following day a subsequent appeal was issued this time with a CCTV image of Trotter.
Following this appeal numerous people, including former partners, came forward identifying the man in the image as William Trotter.
At the same time this appeal was issued, Trotter fled to Scotland in an apparent bid to evade justice. He stayed with a relative whom he lied to about the reason behind his sudden arrival.
Detectives launched an immediate manhunt for Trotter and he was tracked down back in London. When officers arrested him, Trotter gave a false name and attempted to flee again.
During the trial the jury heard that DNA evidence from a plastic bag that Trotter was carrying and later recovered from the scene carried the profiles of both Trotter and the victim.
The investigation was led by the Met’s South Area Safeguarding Unit who investigate rape and sexual offences.
Detective Constable Penelope Rea, the investigating officer, said: “Firstly I would like to pay tribute to victim who has shown remarkable strength and courage in giving her evidence following a very traumatic experience. I would also like to commend the member of public who phoned 999 and alerted us to the assault, allowing us to intervene and stop the suspect in the act. Both their actions have ultimately led to a dangerous individual being taken off the streets.
“This dangerous individual would not have been brought before the court were it not for a number of organisations working together to identify and ultimately apprehend Trotter. We are grateful to Police Scotland for their assistance and to TfL in providing valuable evidence that has helped secure this conviction.
“This case serves to highlight our dedication to apprehending sexual predators and bringing them to justice.”