Orpington rapist James Isted who attacked women in graveyard jailed for life
PUBLISHED: 17:06 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:09 07 February 2014
A rapist who attacked and robbed his victims in an Orpington graveyard has today been jailed for life.
James Isted, 27, of Tintagel Road, Orpington, was sentenced to life imprisonment for two rapes, two counts of robbery and an assault on a police officer at Croydon Crown Court.
He had pleaded not guilty to all five charges but was convicted by a jury in December.
In the first attack, he crept up behind his 17-year-old victim as she walked along Church Hill late at night and hit her on the back of the head.
Isted dragged her into the graveyard of All Saints’ Church and subjected to her to a prolonged rape before fleeing with her handbag and phone on September 30 2011.
The Metropolitan Police said he was arrested a week later but released.
In May last year he struck again, threatening a 27-year-old woman with a knife in Church Hill at 1.30pm.
A member of the public called the police after seeing the rape and Isted was stopped and chased by officers, who arrested him nearby.
He had taken the woman’s engagement ring as well as other jewellery and her bank card.
Isted was charged with rape and first appeared in court on August 1. His trial lasted three weeks.
Det Insp Faye Churchyard, from the Met’s sexual offences command, said he showed a “total disregard” for his victims and forced them to re-live their horrific ordeal in a trial.
Police admitted they “made mistakes” setting Isted free after the first rape and could have stopped him attacking again almost two years later.
At the beginning of August 2012 he was told he was no longer on police bail because of “a lack of evidence”.
Police said the investigation was ongoing but it did not stop him raping a second woman in May.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The MPS acknowledges that in this case we made mistakes, and we have apologised to the victim of the second offence.
“Had certain actions been taken earlier, a second offence may have been prevented.
“We voluntarily referred the matter to the IPCC who took the decision to return it to the MPS to be looked at locally.”
The investigation is being carried out by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
The life sentence for each crime carries a minimum of nine years.