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Man jailed for rape - Wigan
Friday 1st February, 2008

Man jailed for rape - Wigan
Guilty - Silas Thompson

A 54-year-old man who raped a mother on wasteground after he offered to her find somewhere to get cigarettes has been jailed for 10 years.

On 17 December 2007 Silas Thompson, born 21/10/52, of Westwood Lane, Lower Ince, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was today, Friday 11 January 2008, sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

On Wednesday 15 August 2007, the 29-year-old victim was enjoying a night in with a friend when she decided to pop into Lower Ince Labour Club, on Alfred Street, Wigan, to buy some cigarettes.

When she arrived the club was in process of being locked up, but she spoke to Thompson who told her he would help her find some cigarettes.

They then walked to a nearby house where they were told by the householder that he didn't have any cigarettes. However, Thompson told her he knew another house they could try.

She again went with him and, as they approached some waste land off Westwood Lane, he grabbed her and carried her 300 metres down an alleyway.

She tried to struggle free of his grip and bit his hand, but Thompson was too strong for her and she feared for her life.

He then raped her twice. Following the attack, Thompson and his terrified victim walked back along Cemetery Road where he said: "I'm going back to hang myself."

He later handed himself in to the police. In interviews he admitted having sex with the woman, but claimed she had given consent.

Detective Constable Kevin Telford, of Wigan CID, said: "This was a sickening and cowardly attack on a young woman who thought this man was trying to help her.

"However, I must pay tribute to the victim's bravery. Despite having to re-live this horrible ordeal, she managed to give a full and detailed description of her attacker and has had the courage to be prepared to go to court if necessary.

"Thankfully attacks of this nature are extremely rare. I would like to encourage victims of such ordeals to come forward and speak to police. There are support services available to assist them through the criminal justice process and their identities will not be revealed to the public."

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency. GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.

St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, can also be contacted on 0161 276 6515. This provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and people can access them either as a self-referral or via Greater Manchester Police.

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