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A man has been has been jailed for attempting to rape a woman after breaking into her flat in South-east London

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George Wallace, 26  of Wichling Close, Orpington, was found guilty of attempted rape and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence at Woolwich Crown Court following a trial on Monday, 23 November.

He was sentenced on the same day to a total of nine years’ imprisonment – and will have to serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being considered for release. He will then spend an additional five years on licence.

He has also been put on the sex offenders register for life.

The offences took place on 10 November 2019 just before 07:00hrs in a flat in High Street, Orpington.

During the trial, the court heard that the 58-year-old female victim was asleep in her bed when she was awoken by Wallace standing over her after breaking into her flat through the bathroom window.

Wallace grabbed the victim, exposed himself and attempted to rape her.

The screams alerted her daughter who was also in the flat at the time of the offence. She immediately called the police.

Wallace made his way out of the flat via the bathroom window.

Within minutes of the call being made by the victim’s daughter, emergency response team officers from the Met’s South Area Basic Command Unit arrived.

The officers spotted muddy footprints leading from the bathroom to the victim’s bedroom. Forensic officers were called to try to find any trace of DNA from the suspect.

Wallace was identified through fingerprints found on the bathroom window where he had entered and exited the flat. A vodka bottle was also found left in the flat, on which the DNA of Wallace was later discovered.

Detective Constable Paul Harakis, of the Met’s South Area Safeguarding team, said: “The fingerprint and DNA evidence in this investigation was vital in identifying Wallace. It highlights the good proactive work we do to ensure offenders are identified and brought to justice.

“The victim has shown tremendous courage in giving evidence. This case shows how working across the organisation with teams such as forensic specialists, helps to secure a conviction.

“I hope that the verdict and sentencing brings the victim some level of closure. We take these cases very seriously and I would encourage anyone who has been through a similar experience to come forward and report it to us in confidence.”

+ Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence is urged to contact police on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.