Rapist admits carrying out 2017 attacks in Peterborough

Awais Rehman, 20, of Watergall in Bretton, Peterborough, admitted raping a woman in 2017

Awais Rehman, 20, of Watergall in Bretton, Peterborough, admitted raping a woman in 2017 - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

A rapist who targeted two women on a Peterborough footpath in 2017 has admitted to his offences.

Awais Rehman, who is now aged 20, attended Cambridge Crown Court on Friday, July 22, where he pleaded guilty to rape, threatening a person with a blade, robbery and two counts of sexual assault.

Rehman, who was a teenager when the offences were committed, raped a woman in the morning of September 30, 2017, before he sexually assaulted and robbed another woman at around 1pm on October 6 the same year.

The crimes took place on the Bretton cycle and footpath, near the A47 and Rhubarb Bridge in Peterborough.

In the following year after the attacks took place, the case entered the courts system but Rehman was ruled unfit to stand trial in November that year (2018).

He was tried in his absence at Cambridge Crown Court where jurors reached a guilty verdict for rape and sexual assault.

Aged 17, Rehman was sentenced to indefinite hospital order in May 2019.

He was deemed fit to plead late last year (2021), and following his guilty plea in Cambridge, he is due for sentencing at the same court on September 2.

DC Denise Brown, who investigated for Cambridgeshire Constabulary together with Superintendent Adam Gallop and Detective Inspector Gordon Blair, said: "This is a case I will personally never forget and highlights our sheer determination to bring offenders like Rehman to justice.

"It took us nine months to track him down; we issued media appeals and an e-fit image but it was good old fashioned police work that led us to him in the end after we knocked on his door and took his DNA, which linked him forensically to these horrific sex offences."

In the first offence on September 30, the victim was walking along the footpath when she saw Rehman run up behind her and pull a large kitchen knife from his trousers.

She screamed, but Rehman told her to be quiet and forced her into nearby bushes to rape her.

The 24-year-old victim ran away and reported the incident to police.

DNA found on the victim's shirt was recovered, analysed, and forensic experts said there was a "one in a billion" chance it did not belong to Rehman.

On October 6, another woman was on the same footpath when Rehman approached her from behind and slapped her on the bottom.

He then grabbed her by the arms and told her: "I’m going to take your bag."

Rehman made off with the victim's handbag, which was recovered from nearby bushes.

The victim's bank cards and £20 were missing.

Following his arrest, Rehman, of Watergall in Bretton, Peterborough, claimed he had consensual sex with the first victim, but he answered "no comment" to all other questions.

DC Brown said: "The sexual assault victim feels what happened has completely changed her life.

"She never goes out alone, has regular panic attacks and feels like her ordeal has never ended.

"The rape victim continues to live in fear and has considered taking her own life due to the psychological impact of what happened."

The case featured on Channel 4's 24 Hours in Police Custody.

DC Brown added: "Many will remember the victim took part in 24 Hours in Police Custody and gave a first-hand account of the impact it had on her.

"I hope her story inspires others to contact us if they are victims of similar offences.

"When I called her to say we had charged someone for her case, she said it was one of the happiest days of her life.

"For me that really captures why we became officers - to make a positive difference when the public have been through truly horrendous experiences.

"We take all offences of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously and as highlighted in this case, will do all we can to bring offenders to justice."