A Trowbridge man hid in a bush before attempting to rape a random schoolgirl.
Stephen Sydney Chant, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted stranger rape on two teenage girls, grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault.
The defendant, Seymour Road, attacked a teenage girl on a footpath between Trowbridge railway station and Langford Road at about 6.30pm on 25 July 2022.
He had been hiding in bushes before running towards her, and hitting her over the head, before attempting to rape her. She bravely fought back, and a passer-by bravely intervened, allowing her to escape.
Chant also pleaded guilty to another charge of attempted rape on a second teenage girl that had occurred in April 2022, and a sexual assault on a young adult female that occurred in August 2021.
At Swindon Crown Court today (Friday), the he was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment plus a five year supervision order.
Detective Inspector Tom Straker praised the victims for their bravery, and his officers for their hard work and dedication.
He said: “Chant is clearly a very dangerous man who preyed on young women in Trowbridge. His victims have been incredibly brave and I cannot praise them enough for how they have worked with my team to help us to get him convicted and imprisoned.
“I would also like to say how proud I am of the officers from our Community Policing Team and my detectives from the Central CID who identified Chant as being responsible for these horrific crimes and who carried out such a thorough investigation that he had no option but to plead guilty.
“This in turn saved his victims – who had already gone through an unimaginable ordeal – from reliving the trauma at a trial.
“A sexual predator has now been removed from society, safeguarding those within our communities.”
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