Van driver jailed for raping woman after offering to help when her phone was stolen

·2 min read
Police arresting Andrew Mills near his home in Gravesend, just hours after a rape attack. (SWNS)
Police arresting Andrew Mills near his home in Gravesend, just hours after a rape attack. (SWNS)

A man raped a woman in the back of his van after offering to help when her phone was stolen.

Andrew Mills, 61, offered the woman a lift home as he joined a group of people trying to help her after the theft in Gravesend town centre in Kent just after midnight on 6 August, 2019.

But instead of driving her home, Mills subjected her to a prolonged attack in his vehicle.

The victim eventually convinced Mills to let her get out and after escaping, she used her concealer to write down his number plate.

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A patrol car then located Mills’s van parked near to his home later that morning.

Officers knocked on his door and during a conversation in the street, he admitted being with the victim and was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Mills denied two counts of rape and three other sexual offences, but was found guilty by a jury of each charge following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

He was jailed for eight years at the same court earlier this week. 

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Detective Inspector Ross Gurden, a senior investigating officer at Kent Police, described Mills as a dangerous and “opportunistic predator”.

After the sentencing hearing, he said: “Mills has shown himself to be an opportunistic predator who poses an extreme danger to women.

“It would have been abundantly clear to him that the victim was distressed and vulnerable, and he exploited this in the worst and most deceitful way imaginable.

“Despite being put through a traumatic ordeal, the victim showed exceptional courage in managing to get out of the van and had commendable presence of mind in quickly using her concealer to write down his registration number.

'I am pleased that we have now secured justice for her. While nothing is going to undo the harm Mills has caused, I sincerely hope that she can take a degree of reassurance from the result of this case.”

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