Man who raped woman in Buxton alleyway is jailed
A man who dragged a woman into an alleyway in Buxton and raped her twice at knifepoint has been jailed.
Robert Lee waited for his victim in the darkness of an alleyway on Charles Street with his face covered by a balaclava.
When a young woman, who he did not know, approached, he "forced her deeper into the alleyway" and used his knife to "threaten" her, leaving her "petrified", Recorder Dean Kershaw told Derby Crown Court.
He forcefully removed the woman's underwear and tights and raped her twice. He attempted to rape her a third time before subjecting her to an indecent assault instead.
The horrific incident occurred in January 1989 and left the victim with "serious psychological harm", the court heard.
Lee, now 66, of Parkside, Belper, has now been jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of two counts of rape, one attempted rape and one indecent assault.
The court was told he has two previous convictions for rape.
Judge Kershaw said: “This was a planned attack. You chose a secluded place where nobody could hear your victim scream.
“You waited in the darkness for your next victim and used your knife as a clear threat of violence.
“Your victim has never been able to forget what happened and I am confident she never will. She has spent a lifetime wondering who attacked her and why.
“When you raped her in that cut-through her feelings and her wellbeing were never on your mind.
“You have shown a complete lack of remorse for your actions and were found guilty through a trial. You caused her great upset and trauma by making her go through the trial despite overwhelming evidence.
“The attack has caused her severe psychological harm and suffering which also affected her family and children.”
Lee was given 11 years in jail for each rape charge, six years for the attempted rape and three years for the indecent assault – all of which are to be served concurrently.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said: “Following the attack in 1989, I became a different person. To say it affected my life is an understatement.
“Prior to the attack, I considered myself a carefree person. Afterwards I became very overprotective of my family and I developed a fear of crime.
“I didn’t feel safe in my own home. If I was going to a friend’s address I wouldn’t feel safe until I knew the door had been locked twice.
"I became suspicious of every man - wondering if they had attacked me. I still feel myself get nervous if a man walks towards me.
“My mother died in 2014 and she was very distressed by what happened. I don’t think she was the same person after the attack.
"I am very anxious about what might happen to my children. I will never forget what happened to me and when I think about it, it still makes my stomach churn.
“With the help and support of my family and friends I’m coping in the best way I can. But no amount of compensation will ever be able to get the last 27 years of my life back.”
It added: “The lead-up to the trial has affected me. When I was told a suspect had been identified I felt the floor had been eaten up beneath me.
“I had to tell my children what had happened to me and they’ve become overprotective of me and my daughter keeps making sure the door is locked. I just want closure.”
In mitigation, Andrew Gillmore, for Lee, said the defendant has not had “so much as a parking fine” since being released from custody in 1997 for previous sex crimes.
He said: “He has tried to be a law abiding member of society and has lost contact with his wife and step-sons.
“The defendant effectively spent 20 years trying to get his life back on track after his mistakes.”
Lee was found guilty by a jury at Derby Crown Court on November 2. He was sentenced the following day.