Michael Ware, a 23-year-old man who raped a teenager at gunpoint in a cemetery last December, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a court in Birmingham, England.
According to Metro, the 19-year-old victim, whose identity has not been made public, was walking home from Kings Norton railway station on December 6 last year when Ware, who had been following her for a while, jumped out from behind a tree and held a fake gun to her head.
The teenager, believing the firearm to be a real one, was forced into entering a cemetery where she was made to strip against a wall. The man, who threatened to shoot her if she screamed, then proceeded to rape her with the fake gun still in his hand.
However, the teenager somehow managed to grab hold of the gun and fire it at Ware, at which point she realized the gun was fake as nothing happened. A scuffle broke out between the two with the teenager finally able to get away from the chasing Ware.
The police responded to the teenager’s call by reaching the cemetery and scouring the scene of crime, where they found a mobile phone which was traced back to Michael Ware. Two days later, he was arrested after a policeman saw Ware following a man from the same station. At the time of his arrest, an eight-inch knife was found in his possession.
Ware confessed to four accounts of sexual assaults, rape and possession of an imitation firearm.
Judge Simon Drew sentenced Michael Ware to 15 years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court describing the crime as “everyone’s worst nightmare.”
“This is a case where you effectively abducted her. It was sustained. It went on for a considerable period of time, more than half-an-hour. Half-an-hour which she will never be able to forget. Half-an-hour of sheer terror.”
Devon Small, the lawyer defending Ware, pleaded guilty but asked the court to favorably look at Ware’s case as he had a difficult upbringing and had “trouble forming relationships.”
However, prosecutor Darron Whitehead argued that it was a pre-meditated attack by a violent young man who had made rape-related searches on his phone hours before the incident.
Mirror reported Ian Ingram, of West Midlands Police, commending the teenager on her bravery.
“The woman who was attacked has shown great strength throughout the investigation. This must have been a terrifying ordeal for her and we would like to commend her for her bravery. She had the presence of mind to pick up the gun and used this as her means to escape.”
[Photo by Gideon Tsang/Creative Commons]