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Repeat offender jailed after sexually assaulting woman as she slept - London

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Reece Francis

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A repeat sex offender who sexually assaulted a lone woman as she slept on a train in London has been jailed.

Reece Francis, 27, and of Compton Place, Bexley, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and breaching his Sexual Harm Prevention Order at Blackfriars’ Crown Court on 16 August.

The Judge sentenced him to 21 months in prison.

On 25 May at around midnight, the victim was sat on her own on a train from London Bridge and fell asleep by the window.

When she woke up, Francis was sat next to her and she was being sexually assaulted by him.

She quickly moved into another carriage before reporting the incident to police, and Francis left the train at Belvedere.

Following CCTV enquiries, officers from BTP’s Sexual Offences Unit recognised Francis and he was arrested at his home address.

As a result of his previous convictions, at the time of the assault Francis was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prohibited him from travelling on public transport between 11pm and 6am, and sitting next to or opposite any lone female on any form of public transport. He had breached both of these conditions.

On 27 October 2017, Francis sexually assaulted a woman as she slept on a train from Dartford.

Just over two weeks later on 11 November 2017, Francis subjected another woman to a sexual assault while she was sleeping on a train from Cannon Street. The victim woke to find him exposing himself and touching himself inappropriately.

He was convicted of both offences in January 2018 and sentenced to 54 weeks in prison.

His Sexual Harm Prevention Order remains in place and has been extended to five years.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Edwards said: “Francis is an extremely dangerous individual who clearly has a habit of preying on sleeping women on public transport. His offences are abhorrent and I am relieved to see him back behind bars as I’m sure his victim’s will be too.

“I hope this sends a strong and clear message that we take every report of sexual offences on the railway seriously, and it absolutely won’t be tolerated." 

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