Tom Little QC and James Thacker successfully prosecute serial rapist sentenced to life imprisonment

News | Wed 23rd Dec, 2020

Following a 13-day trial that culminated on 10th December 2020 William Trotter (‘WT’) was unanimously convicted by a jury at Croydon Crown Court of the abduction and rape of a lone and vulnerable 17-year-old female.

WT followed the female as she alighted a night bus in Bromley, Kent, in the early hours of the morning of 20th March 2020 as the country was about to embark on the first national lockdown. He chased her, grabbed her from behind and hit her with force so she lost consciousness. He dragged her into bushes and as she regained consciousness grabbed her hair and hit her head repeatedly on the ground whilst threatening to kill her if she made sound. He brutally raped her. WT only ceased his actions as police were alerted by a member of the public.

WT made good his escape. His image from CCTV on the night bus was circulated in media appeals and 7 witnesses came forward who gave evidence of recognition at trial. WT fled to Scotland where he stayed with a relative. He told her that he had ‘beaten someone up, and it was bad’. A careful examination of the scene of crime revealed a discarded white plastic bag. Scientific evidence found a mixed DNA profile that was 1 billion times more likely if WT had contributed DNA to that sample.

Cell site evidence for WT’s mobile ‘phone demonstrated that he had travelled from London to Kent in the immediacy prior to attack and was consistent with him being within the area of abduction and rape. WT’s ‘phone was disconnected from the network shortly after the attack began. His SIM was thereafter swapped into a different handset.

WT had raped 14 years earlier in strikingly similar circumstances; he grabbed a 17 year old lone female from behind, viciously and brutally attacked and raped her.

On 16th December 2020 HHJ Lowe sentenced to WT to Life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years.

Tom Little QC and James Thacker were instructed by the RASSO division of CPS London.

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