Grantham gym instructor faces jail for attempted rape

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A gym instructor is facing jail after he was convicted on Wednesday of attempting to rape a 20-year-old woman he attacked in the street.

The jury at Lincoln Crown Court took less than 50 minutes to return a guilty verdict against James Taylor following the attack on the outskirts of Sleaford.

Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, told the jury that the woman was talking to her boyfriend on her mobile phone as she walked along Lincoln Road, Holdingham. The jury was told that Taylor grabbed her by the neck and forced her to the ground where he tried to rape her.

He also robbed her of her mobile and her purse which he discarded nearby before fleeing.

The woman’s boyfriend raised the alarm, ringing 999 after hearing her being attacked while they were talking.

The victim made her way to a nearby house where she received help from the occupants until police arrived at the scene.

Taylor was arrested seven weeks later after tests revealed the presence of his DNA on the woman’s clothing.

Miss Bradley said that Taylor answered “no comment” to a string of questions and refused to even explain why he was in Sleaford.

Taylor, 26, of Kenilworth Road, Grantham, denied attempted rape on 4 May but was found guilty by the jury. He had previously admitted robbery.

He admitted he sexually assaulted the woman but denied he intended to rape her.

Taylor, who told the jury he had previously served a six year jail sentence for robbery, said: “I was looking to raise some cash. I saw her on the phone and at that point I decided to take the phone.”

He said that after taking the phone the woman asked for it back. “I pushed her and she screamed. I then took her to the floor by the neck and her clothing and covered her mouth.”

Taylor said he became sexually aroused and indecently touched the woman but claimed he did not try to have sex with her.

He said that he did not answer questions during his police interview because he was in shock at what he had done.

He told the jury “I felt ashamed. I was sorry for her and her family and for my partner and her family. I felt I’d lost everything I’d worked hard for through something that shouldn’t really have happened.”

Judge Michael Heath remanded Taylor into custody and adjourned sentence to a later date.