A man who raped a pensioner in her own home in Shepherd’s Bush has been jailed for life.
Robert Lashley will serve a minimum seven-and-a-half years in prison after he was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court for the horrific attack on a woman aged 80.
The 33-year-old, who had previously received an eight-year sentence for raping a 59-year-old in 2004, had denied the charge of rape but was found guilty by a jury earlier this year following a trial.
By pleading not guilty, he forced his victim into the witness booth during his trial at Isleworth Crown Court, where he was convicted on January 19.
At the time, police said they suspected Lashley, from Blythe Road, Brook Green, had raped more women and released his photo in the hope it would encourage victims to come forward.
He struck as she left her home to go to a newsagents at 7.30am on August 16 last year. During the trial, CCTV was shown which revealed Lashley loitering outside the victim’s block of flats where she lives by herself.
As she returned he followed her into the communal entrance and then forced his way into her flat and raped her.
The woman reported the assault to police and Lashley was arrested and charged days later on August 17 after police identified him from the CCTV. He denied the charge in November.
Speaking at the time of his conviction, DC Victoria Kilburn said: “Robert Lashley is a sexual predator who, on August 16, 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.”
She paid tribute to the victim, saying: “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.”
Police released an image of Lashley to encourage those who think they may have been a victim of his to come forward and speak to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.