Lunch box DNA secures jail sentence for sex attacker

The scales of justice EMN-150414-135109001
The scales of justice EMN-150414-135109001

A sex attacker has been jailed after he brutally tried to drag a woman into a field when her car had broken down on the side of the road.

Robert Wright, 37, attacked the woman in a layby after her car tyre suffered a puncture and attempted to pull her into a field.

But the courageous victim, who is in her 40s, fought back by headbutting the attacker and elbowing him before he made off on his bike on June 8, last year.

The man, from Bedford, dropped his lunchbox while making his quick getaway but he was arrested three months later when the DNA revealed his identity.

Wright pleaded not guilty to attempted rape but after a trial at Luton Crown Court in December last year he was found guilty and has been jailed for four years. Sentencing on Friday (February 26) Judge Stuart Bridge said: “This was a particularly frightening assault, an opportunistic attack on a stranger who was alone at the roadside.

“She thought she was going to be raped.”

Wright sexually attacked the woman in a layby off the A6 in Oakley, Bedfordshire, where, because of the position of the road, her car wasn’t visible to passing motorists.

Five minutes after pulling over the court heard how Wright turned up on his bicycle and the victim could smell alcohol on him.

She felt uncomfortable by his presence and prosecutor Will Noble told the court how Wright was getting too close to her and invading her personal space.

Wright offered to help the woman but as she reached into her vehicle she noticed his arms reaching around her waist and his hand went up her skirt.

The court heard he then struggled with the woman as he tried to drag her into a field but he hadn’t counted on her putting up such a fight and he was forced to make off.

The man had a long list of previous offences including two sexual matters with one conviction for indecent assault.

Judge Stuart Bridge told Wright because of the danger he posed to the public - particularly women - he was going to pass an extended sentence for their protection.

He passed an extended sentence of eight years and told Wright he would serve four years behind bars.

He will be on licence for four years once he is released from jail.