Isleworth Man Jailed for Rape

Michael Sidwell attacked lone woman in underpass

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A 19-year-old man has been sentenced at Kingston Crown Court to a total of nine years imprisonment for the rape and robbery of a lone woman in Twickenham.

Michael Graham Sidwell aged 19 of Summerwood Road, Isleworth (pictured right), pleaded guilty to both offences at Kingston Crown Court earlier this year.

The judge did not specify the breakdown between the rape and the robbery sentences. He said the fact that Sidwell pleaded guilty to these offences accounted for the lower sentence, otherwise he would have been sentenced to 13 years if found guilty after a trial.

The rape occurred on Monday 18th June 2007 when a 22:00 a 28-year-old woman was about to enter a subway under Chertsey Road (A316), Twickenham, near the junction with Jubilee Road, when a man approached her. The man - later identified as Sidwell - jumped out at her, welding a large knife in his right hand. He demanded she hand over her money and held the 8 - 10" knife close to her face in a threatening manner.

He again said, "Give me the money", so the victim handed over her purse. Having opened it and looked inside, Sidwell demanded that she give him more as he had seen her stop at a cash point. She explained that it was to check her balance and that she had not taken any money out but Sidwell continued to be aggressive.

The victim pleaded with him to put the knife down and not to hurt her, but he forced her further into the subway before proceeded to indecently assault her. She struggled and continued to plead with him to let her go. Still brandishing the knife, Sidwell forced her to perform a sex act on him. He then fled the scene on a pedal cycle.

As soon as he had left, the distressed victim called a friend and asked her to call police. Following forensic tests and the release of an e-fit Sidwell was arrested 4 days later after his DNA was matched.

Detective Inspector Mark Cranwell, Twickenham CID said: "The victim, who had to endure a horrific ordeal, has been extremely brave and courageous throughout this investigation. Undoubtedly this is an experience that every woman dreads, but due to the quick thinking of the victim, police were able to identify and arrest Sidwell within four days of the attack. "

November 23, 2007