Repeat sex offender jailed after assaulting sleeping woman on London Bridge train

Josh Salisbury (29 August, 2019) Crime In the Dock

Francis had previously been convicted of sexually assaulting two other sleeping women on trains in 2017

25028Image: British Transport Police (stock)

A repeat sex offender who sexually assaulted a lone sleeping woman on a train from London Bridge has been jailed.

Reece Francis, 27, of Compton Place, Bexley, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and for breaching a Sexual Harms Prevention Order at Blackfriars’ Crown Court on Friday August 16.

Now Francis must spend 21 months behind bars.

The court heard that the victim, who was on her own, had fallen asleep against the window of a train from London Bridge at around midnight, May 25.

But when she woke up, Francis was sat next to her and was sexually assaulting her.

She rushed to another carriage before reporting the assault to police, and Francis left the train at Belvedere.

In 2017, the 27-year-old had previously sexually assaulted a sleeping woman on a Dartford train.

Now ‘extremely dangerous’ Reece Francis has to spend 22 months behind bars

Just over two weeks later, in November 2017, Francis subjected another woman to a sexual assault while she was sleeping on a train from Cannon Street.

The victim woke to find him exposing himself and touching himself inappropriately.

He was convicted of both offences in January 2018 and sentenced to 54 weeks in prison.

As a result of the convictions, Francis was subject to an order banning him from travelling on public transport between 11pm and 6am, and sitting next to or opposite any lone female on any form of public transport, both of which he breached.

Detectives swooped to arrest the sex offender for his May offence after recognising him on CCTV.

“Francis is an extremely dangerous individual who clearly has a habit of preying on sleeping women on public transport,” Detective Sergeant Andrew Edwards said.

“His offences are abhorrent and I am relieved to see him back behind bars as I’m sure his victim’s will be too.

“I hope this sends a strong and clear message that we take every report of sexual offences on the railway seriously, and it absolutely won’t be tolerated.”

His Sexual Harm Prevention Order remains in place and has been extended to five years.

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