Man who raped teenager sentenced for 24 years - Kent
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A dangerous rapist has been handed a 24 year sentence following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.
Christopher Key, 39, of Westbourne Gardens, Folkestone, had previously pleaded guilty to raping a teenage boy at Canterbury Crown Court. On 8 December he was sentenced to 16 years in prison, with an eight year extension.
The court heard that, on 27 March 2023, the victim, who was 14 at the time, boarded the train alone at Margate after spending time with his friends. Key also boarded the train at this station, and when the victim sat at a table seat, Key took the opportunity to sit opposite him.
Key then proceeded to question the teenager, asking him inappropriate questions, and staring at him, making him uncomfortable. Bravely, the victim was able to capture a short video of Key’s face before Key proceeded to threaten and then rape him.
The victim was then able to get away and get the attention of a couple on the train, who intervened and bravely confronted Key, allowing the victim to get off the train safely. He ran home and alerted his mother to the incident, who called 999. Meanwhile, the couple who intervened remained on the train with Key and alerted a train guard.
The image of Key taken by the victim was sent to officers, who met the train and arrested Key.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Sergent Mike Blakeburn said: “This man is a dangerous predator who targeted a lone teenage boy. I am pleased that our investigation has resulted in him receiving a significant custodial sentence.
"I would like to thank the victim and his family for the support they have shown throughout this investigation. It has been an incredibly difficult and upsetting experience for them and I hope this outcome brings them some closure.
“The victim’s bravery in reporting this at his soonest opportunity, along with the video of Key, meant officers could quickly respond and apprehend Key. I commend his quick thinking in such a traumatic circumstance. Additionally, I’d like to thank the bystanders for bravely stepping in and allowing the victim to escape.
"Tackling sexual offences and violence is a priority for BTP. We take all reports seriously and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.
“If you are a victim of, or a witness to, a sexual offence on the railway - I urge you to report it to BTP by texting 61016 or via the Railway Guardian app. Always call 999 in an emergency.”