Man sentenced to hospital order after breaking into woman’s house to sexually assault her

A man who broke into a woman’s house to sexually assault her has been sentenced after his DNA was matched to chewing gum left at the scene.

Frank Rawlings, 38, of Chorley Wood Crescent, Orpington, was sentenced on Friday at Woolwich Crown Court, to a hospital order. The length of Rawlings’s sentence is not yet fixed.

Rawlings pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

The incident happened in the early hours of  September 8, 2022, at the woman’s home in Croydon.

She had fallen asleep on the sofa in her living room. She was woken up with a man’s arm across her waist. She turned round to find Rawlings – who she had never met before – lying next to her with his trousers around his ankles.

She shouted at him to get out and Rawlings left the property.

Police were called and found Rawlings in the area. Officers searched a backpack he was carrying and found a sex toy.

Rawlings was arrested and taken into custody where he declined to answer any questions.

The woman confirmed she had not been sexually assaulted.

Forensic analysis of chewing gum found on the sofa provided a match to Rawlings, proving he had been inside the property.

Detective Constable Sarah Mead, investigating officer, said: “This was an extremely distressing incident where a woman woke to find a total stranger in her house. 

“Frank Rawlings has refused to tell us what his intentions were, but the fact that he was partly undressed, lying next to the woman on her sofa gives a clear indication – thankfully, the woman woke up and scared him away.

“The victim has been extremely brave in supporting this investigation and I hope now that legal proceedings have concluded, she can begin to move on from this distressing incident.

“Criminality targeting women and girls is a key priority for the Met and we continue to strive to ensure we improve investigations and better support those who put their trust in us. I hope this conviction helps improve that trust.”

Pictured top: Frank Rawlings (Picture: The Met)

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Croydon – South London News