Police release his photo and urge other victims to come forward
A man from Blythe Road, W14, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for raping an 80-year-old woman in Shepherd's Bush.
Police have now issued a photo of 33-year-old Robert Lashley in case there are any victims of unreported crimes who recognise him.
Lashley was found guilty earlier this year at Isleworth Crown Court and has now been ordered to serve a minimum sentence of seven-and-a-half years before he can be considered for release.
The court heard that Lashley had targeted his 80-year-old victim as she left her Shepherd's Bush home to go to a newsagents on the morning of 16 August 2014. CCTV showed Lashley loitering outside the victim's block of flats where she lived alone. As she returned home, he followed her into the communal entrance and then forced his way into her flat where he raped her. The victim reported the assault to police and Lashley was arrested on 17 August 2014 after officers recognised his image on CCTV footage.
The court also heard that Lashley had received an eight-year sentence in 2004 for a similar rape on a 59-year-old woman. Officers believe that Lashley may have targeted other women and are appealing for further possible victims to come forward.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Lucy Mawdsley said: "Robert Lashley is a sexual predator who on 16 August 2014 targeted one of the most vulnerable members of our community and subjected her to an horrific sexual assault. This was all the more distressing as the offence occurred in her home, where she should have felt safe. I hope that the sentence today reflects how seriously the police and courts view this type of vile offending.
"I also hope that this sentence will encourage more victims of sexual offending to approach police, in the knowledge you will be believed no matter what age you are, and that the police will seek prosecutions for sexual offences.
"I would like to pay tribute to the victim of this offence. She is a spirited lady who showed great courage and determination, not only during the offence, but also in attending court and giving evidence against Lashley. She has found this experience extremely traumatic and I hope she can recover from this to enjoy her retirement in peace.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the police non-emergency line on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
May 5, 2015