Armed cemetery rapist jailed for 15 years
A dangerous rapist who held a gun to the head of a young woman before assaulting her in a cemetery has been jailed.
Michael Ware had followed the 19-year-old from Kings Norton railway station in Birmingham before threatening his terrified victim with the fake firearm and forcing her into a nearby churchyard.
West Midlands Police said that during the attack, on December 6 last year, the courageous woman managed to grab the gun and escape.
Today at Birmingham Crown Court, Ware, who admitted rape, was jailed for a total of 15 years, detectives said.
Following the graveyard attack officers searched the scene turning up a damaged mobile phone which was traced to 23-year-old Ware of Shenley Fields Drive, Northfield, Birmingham.
His description was then circulated and he was spotted by police following yet another woman from the same station he previously targeted.
When Ware was stopped and searched, he was found to be carrying a knife.
In court, he was sentenced to seven years for possession of an imitation firearm and a year for having the knife, all to run concurrently.
Ware was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Inspector Ian Ingram, of West Midlands Police, said: "The woman who was attacked has shown great strength throughout the investigation.
"This must have been a terrifying ordeal for her and we would like to commend her for her bravery.
"She had the presence of mind to pick up the gun that had been placed on the floor and used this as her means to escape.
"Ware planned the attack and we are convinced that he would have carried on offending, the fact that he was caught following another potential victim proves this.
"Through good police work and crucial evidence we have today secured a conviction of a very dangerous man who will spend a long time behind bars."