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Man jailed after admitting rape of teenage girl

Michael Murray
Michael Murray

A man has been given a 15 year extended sentence – the first nine years of which will be served in custody – after he admitted raping a teenage girl he followed off a Bristol bus.

Michael Murray, 29, of no fixed address, followed his victim off the No. 24 bus when it stopped on Stapleton Road before attacking her on nearby Belle Vue Road on 9 January.

His victim was able to provide a detailed description of her attacker and Murray was caught after detectives found CCTV footage of him in the area around the time of the incident.

Murray appeared via video link at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday (7 April) where he pleaded guilty to rape and a separate charge of common assault in which he hit a woman’s face with a lit cigarette after she rebuffed his advances.

Judge Julian Lambert described the rape as a “cold and calculated attack” which involved a significant degree of planning.

In passing an extended sentence, he added Murray was a “dangerous” man who the public needed protecting from.

He handed Murray:

• A 15 year extended sentence made up of nine years in prison and six years on extended licence.
• A further four month concurrent prison sentence for the common assault on the second victim.
• An indefinite restraining order in respect of both victims.
• An indefinite requirement to register as a sex offender.
• An indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order prohibiting him from contact with any female under 18 years of age unless unavoidable through daily business or with parental/social services consent.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Toms said: “Michael Murray poses a significant risk to women and in particular, to teenage girls and it’s reassuring to know he will now be locked up for a lengthy period of time.

“Sexual assaults by strangers are rare in Avon and Somerset but when they do happen we do everything we can to identify offenders and bring them to justice.

“In this case, detectives spent days capturing and reviewing CCTV from a variety of sources along the route taken by the victim and offender as part of their investigation before managing to find footage of Murray in the area.

“On arrest, Murray was confronted with some of CCTV evidence and admitted being the man in the footage but originally denied the offence.”

DS Toms added: “His teenage victim endured an unimaginable experience and we’ve ensured she’s had access to all the specialist support she needs.

“I hope the significant sentence handed to her attacker gives her closure and now allows her to move on.”

Victims of rape or other sexual offences should never suffer in silence.

Police will take all reports seriously, work with partners to provide appropriate support and investigate all proportionate lines of enquiry.

If you’ve been affected by this particular inquiry, please call 101 and ask to speak to Bristol Investigations.

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, recent or non-recent, you don’t have to speak to the police. You can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website or call 0117 342 6999.