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Good Samaritans And Police Officers Receive Awards Following Conviction Of Sex Offender

Three police officers of Warwickshire Police, two West Midlands Police officers and two good samaritans have received awards following the successful conviction of a "dangerous sexual predator".

The awards were presented to Detective Sergeant Mark Lakey, Detective Constables Yvonne Rawson and Imran Ghouri, Police Constables Vicky Graham and Lucy Billings and members of the public Michael and Valerie Horn, last night (Wednesday 4 March) at the Chief Constable Commendation Awards ceremony.

In the early hours of Thursday 1 May 2014, a woman was sexually attacked before she managed to escape and run for help. She flagged down a passing car on the A46 near to Snitterfield. The occupants, Michael and Valerie Horn, showed immense courage, sympathy and public spirit after stopping and giving assistance to the traumatised victim. They provided safe refuge for her whilst calling the police.

Following painstaking and meticulous detective work undertaken by DC Imran Ghouri and DC Yvonne Rawson, the offender was indentified and his previous offending history revealed. He worked as a delivery driver, moving lease and company vehicles across the country between rental centres. His access to such a range of different vehicles provided a significant amount of anonymity that he exploited in the mistaken belief that he would not be traceable.

During May 2014, he made visits to the red light area of Hillfields in Coventry where he picked up vulnerable street workers and drove them out into the Warwickshire countryside. He was dismissive of the police's allegations and denied the offences against him.

The investigation was led by DS Mark Lakey and he and his team received valuable assistance from PC Vicky Graham and PC Lucy Billings of West Midlands Police. They helped take statements and establish and maintain a trust between the victims, the investigation team and the court process. They maintained contact with the victims who had no permanent address. Against a number of significant obstacles, the two PCs helped prepare the women for trial.

On Friday 14 November 2014, Adrian Watts, 49, from Stratford-Upon-Avon was convicted at Warwick Crown Court, for offences of rape and false imprisonment against a number of victims. He received a total of 29 years imprisonment.

He was found guilty on two counts of rape, for each of which he received 12 years concurrent sentences. He was also found guilty of false imprisonment, and received another concurrent sentence of five years.

His Honour Judge Richard Griffiths-Jones commended the flexibility and compassion of DC Imran Ghouri and DC Yvonne Rawson. He also praised Michael and Valerie Horn for helping the victim:

"By stopping and going back, they had effectively rescued her. They should be commended for their courage and public-spiritedness."

Issued: 11am on Thursday 5 March

Published 05/03/15