January 2019

Traveller sexually assaulted gran after trying to kidnap schoolgirl

A rapist who sexually assaulted an elderly widow just minutes after trying to kidnap a schoolgirl has been jailed for more than 11 years this week.

A judge heard that traveller Martin Maughan burst into the 83-year-old woman’s home in Stoke Poges and carried out a brutal sex attack on August 24 last year.

Maughan, 31, then went on the run from police, racking up a string of further crimes during which officers spotted him speeding at 100mph on a 30mph road, driving the wrong way around the M25 motorway and car-jacking two cars during his drug-fuelled crime spree.

On Wednesday, 6ft 2ins-tall Maughan, from Wapsey Wood Caravan Park in Oxford Road, Gerrards Cross, was sentenced for his crimes – all of which he admitted.

Judge Paul Dugdale commended the grandmother and schoolgirl victims for their bravery but heard from the pensioner’s victim impact statement that she may never recover from her ordeal at the hands of her attacker.

The prosecutor at Reading Crown Court told how the cunning defendant asked the OAP several questions to discover whether any men were in her house before pushing his way inside and subjecting her to horrific sexual torment.

The elderly widow, who stood at only 5ft 2ins tall, put up a fight as best she could in the face of Maughan’s brutal attack but she was left with internal bruising and bleeding.

The court heard that in a parting shot as he left the widow lying on the floor, Maughan asked: “Are you dead?”

Just 15 minutes before – on August 24 last year – the married defendant attempted to kidnap a 15-year-old girl and force her into his grey Ford Mondeo car, for what the judge said was undoubtedly a sexual purpose.

Lisa Goddard, prosecuting, said Maughan parked across the driveway of a house in Stoke Poges and spoke to an elderly woman in her front garden, claiming to be from the council. He asked if he could speak to her husband or sons about a water leak.

The pensioner asked Maughan for ID and he went back to his car, purportedly to get it, while the victim went back into her home via a side door.

Ms Goddard said: “The defendant then barged into the house after her, causing the door to fly open and caused her to fall to the floor. He slammed the door shut and stood over her.”

In a victim impact statement, the pensioner said: “I am 83 years of age and in all those years I have never, never met a single man that has wanted to harm me in any way at all.

“It is not something that goes through the mind of an old lady that someone could do that to another human being. I know I put up a fight as best I could but it wasn’t enough against such a big, aggressive man.

“I have nursed my husband for many years before he died of Parkinson’s disease. I had just started to get over the grief of that and now I have the shock of this to recover from, and at my age I wonder if I ever will.”

Fifteen minutes before the brutal attack, Ms Goddard said he had targeted a 15-year-old girl in Salisbury Avenue, Slough, and asked her to tap directions to the nearest KFC into his sat nav.

She said: “When she looked inside, she could not see a sat nav and as she turned, the defendant pushed her in the middle of her back. She rather robustly grabbed the top of the vehicle, at which point the defendant tried to twist her to try to push her into the vehicle.”

The incident, caught on CCTV, lasted four to five minutes, before Maughan pushed her into the road. The victim was hyperventilating after the incident.

In her victim impact statement, his teenage victim said: “Having a constant feeling of worry when I am outside. I used to be happy about going out on my own, now I’m scared, even about going to the local shop. I’m always thinking that it could happen again.”

Maughan listened with his head bowed as the prosecutor told how after attacking the OAP he went on to commit some petty thefts of beer and sandwiches at two service stations. He was declared wanted by the police on August 26, and his Ford Mondeo was seen on Stanwell Road in Slough, where he was seen driving at 90 to 100 mph on roads with a 30mph speed limit.

The judge heard that police pursued Maughan, who stopped his car and reversed it into a police vehicle three times, before he drove the wrong way up a slip road and drove the wrong way on the westbound carriageway of the M4.

The court then heard about a litany of offences Maughan committed over the next two days, August 27 to August 29, where he attempted to steal £600 worth of power tools from B&Q, stole two cars from members of the public and drove them dangerously without insurance.

It was revealed Maughan had previously been jailed for five years and seven months for conspiracy to burgle and had been disqualified from driving in 2012 for dangerous driving.

Rina-Marie Hill, defending, said: “He’s from a traditional travelling community. His offending has caused huge problems for his family. The stigma attached to sexual offending within his particular community is great.

Maughan began to sob loudly as his defence barrister put forward his case and the court was filled with the sound of his sniffing and deep sighs. When the judge asked him to stand up for sentencing, he said: “I have lost the power in my legs.”

After some prompting from the dock officer he did stand and could be heard repeatedly saying, “I’m so sorry”, and “yes, Your Honour”, as the judge gave him his sentence.

Judge Dugdale told him: “It is not remotely surprising at all that the harm caused to these two vulnerable victims, one because she was young and alone, and the other because she was elderly and alone in her home, has been extensive.

“I say this mainly for both of their benefit. Both of them say how they feel embarrassed and ashamed. Neither should feel embarrassed and ashamed. They were the victims of a random, violent, rapid, criminal attack. Nothing that they could have done could have prevented your attack on them.

“Both of them commendably acted with great courage and determination to fight you off. When you are the victim of this kind of offence, there is nothing you can do about it. Both, frankly should be very proud of the way that they behaved in the face of this utterly disgraceful attack.”

The judge told him his dangerous driving following the attacks was one of the most dangerous cases he had ever come across.

Judge Dugdale sentenced Maughan to an extended sentence of 11 years and one month in prison, with a five year extended licence.

He was disqualified from driving for 10 years, and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

When Maughan, who had been protesting throughout the sentencing, heard this, he threw up his arms and said: “I’m not a sex offender!”

He added: “The court lies. You’ll get a big pay cheque now won’t you!” and shouted “I love you baby!” to a woman in the public gallery.

The woman shouted back: “I love you too. See you tomorrow!”

Maughan admitted sexual assault by penetration, trespass with intent to commit sexual assault and attempted abduction.

Maughan also admitted charges of theft, attempted theft a dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving whilst disqualified.