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Sick rapist who attacked women in Orpington graveyard found guilty

PUBLISHED: 17:29 18 December 2013 | UPDATED: 17:36 18 December 2013

James Isted has been convicted of two rapes in Orpington. Photo: Met Police

James Isted has been convicted of two rapes in Orpington. Photo: Met Police

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A sick rapist who attacked women in an Orpington churchyard and even stole a victim's engagement ring is facing decades in prison.

James Isted, 27, of Tintagel Road, Orpington, was convicted by a jury today at Croydon Crown Court, after pleaded not guilty to all five charges.

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 this 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.

She added: “Both victims have shown immense courage in attending court and facing their attacker. I hope their determination and success in seeing him convicted will go some way in providing them with some closure.

“I believe there may be other victims who have not come forward and I urge them or any victim of rape to tell the police what happened to them.”

Isted is due to be sentenced at the Croydon Crown Court on February 7.

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