Feb 2009

Soldier jailed after bid to rape 15-year-old girl

A soldier has been jailed for three years for subjecting a teenager to a frightening sexual ordeal.

Charles Murray followed the 15-year-old in his car then grabbed her, dragged her across the road into a car port and tried to rape her.

The teenager shouted for help and Chelmsford Crown Court heard Murray ran back to his car but before he drove off, he turned around and laughed at the girl.

The rape bid took place only six weeks after Murray had got married, the court heard.

He was supposed take his wife to the cinema on July 4, but instead he followed the girl in his car and pounced on her as she went to babysit for friends.

Murray, 21, a soldier based at Hyderabad Barracks in Colchester, admitted the attempted rape charge and another charge of indecent exposure involving the girl.

Pleas of not guilty to indecently assaulting the teenager and another two charges of indecent exposure were accepted by the prosecution.

The court heard the girl became aware of a Vauxhall Nova car as she was approaching Whitehall Close.

Later it overtook her and stopped and when she drew level with it, Murray said he had something for her and was seen exposing himself.

The girl walked on into Whitehall Close and the car moved past her again. When it stopped, Murray got out and grabbed the girl before trying to rape her.

The girl managed to raise the alarm and Murray was stopped in his car later. Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said Murray bitterly regretted his actions.

He will be dismissed from the Army, Mr Bailey said.

Apart from the jail sentence, Murray was also told to stay on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.