Woman who fell asleep on sofa at home wakes to find semi-naked man, 38, had broken in to sexually assault her

10 December 2023, 13:01

Rawlings was sentenced to a hospital order
Rawlings was sentenced to a hospital order. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Will Taylor

A horrified woman who fell asleep on her sofa at her home in London woke to find a man had broken in and was poised to sexually assault her before she managed to scare him away.

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The woman, who lives in Croydon, woke early on September 8, 2022 to find Frank Rawlings' arm on her waist.

She turned around to see the 38-year-old had broken in and was lying next to her with his trousers pulled to his ankles.

She screamed for him to get out and he left.

Police rushed to the scene and found Rawlings nearby. He was carrying a sex toy in backpack.

The woman said she had not been sexually assaulted but was horrified that Rawling had managed to break in.

He refused to speak to police during questioning but forensic analysis of chewing gum found on the woman's sofa was matched to him.

Rawlings, of Orpington, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday to an indeterminate hospital order.

Read more: Mother charged with manslaughter after four children killed in house fire in south London

Detective Constable Sarah Mead: "This was an extremely distressing incident where a woman woke to find a total stranger in her house.

"Frank Rawlings has refused to tell us what his intentions were, but the fact that he was partly undressed, lying next to the woman on her sofa gives a clear indication – thankfully, the woman woke up and scared him away.

"The victim has been extremely brave in supporting this investigation and I hope now that legal proceedings have concluded, she can begin to move on from this distressing incident.

"Criminality targeting women and girls is a key priority for the Met and we continue to strive to ensure we improve investigations and better support those who put their trust in us. I hope this conviction helps improve that trust."

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