A MAN from Smethwick has been sentenced to 30 years in prison following rapes in Redditch and Rubery.
Shawn Bennett, 29, of Gilbert Road, Smethwick, was found unanimously guilty by the jury at Worcester Crown Court of two counts of rape including rape of a girl under 16-years-old, eight counts of sexual offences, two counts of assault, theft and a threat to kill today, Thursday, June 6.
The court on the afternoon of Monday, October 22, 2018, Bennett held a woman at knifepoint, in her home in Redditch, and assaulted and raped her.
Later that afternoon he followed a 14-year-old girl who was leaving from a bus in Redditch, pulling her into the bushes where he assaulted, raped and threatened to kill her.
In the evening, Bennett then travelled to Rubery. After making inappropriate suggestions to two women he has then tried to drag them both into some undergrowth.
He was then apprehended by officers at the scene of this final attack.
Bennett was sentenced to 30 years in prison and must serve a minimum of 16 years and sign the sex offenders register.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Bailey from West Mercia Police said: “Bennett is an extremely dangerous sex offender who spent the day of Monday, October 22 carrying out these horrific crimes.
“I would like to reassure the community that this is an isolated incident, and crime of this nature is extremely rare in Redditch and the whole of West Mercia.
“His actions have had a huge impact on his victims, who showed great courage in working with police throughout the investigation and trial.
“All four women’s bravery has ensured today’s outcome and I hope that following the sentence, they can all start to rebuild their lives.
“I also want to commend the hard work of all of the investigating officers involved who have worked tirelessly on this case.
“I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report their ordeal in the knowledge that they will be listened to and supported. Police will always investigate and do everything in their power to bring offenders to justice.
“If anyone has been affected by this case then I encourage them to come forward and make a report to police.”
Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to report the incident to police, where specially trained officers will help victims with care and sensitivity, and will work to get the right result for them with their wishes in mind. If you are a victim of a sexual offence you can report it to police on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
Alternatively, there are many agencies you can approach for help, guidance or support which offer a variety of services. Please see http://stoprapenow.co.uk for more information and for a list of the agencies available in your area.
Anyone who is a victim of any sexual assault and feels they may need support contact West Mercia’s Victim Advice Line. It is a free, independent and confidential support service. People can call 0800 952 3000 or visit www.victimadviceline.org.uk and do not have had to have reported the offence to the police.