Two men jailed after attempted kidnap of lone women off the street - including a 14-year-old girl
Jordan Godfrey, 30, and Brett Parker, 28, drove around in a stolen Ford Focus stopping random women in quick succession
Two men have been jailed after a string of lone women were targeted on the street - including a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was followed and one victim who escaped being dragged into a car.
Jordan Godfrey, 30, and Brett Parker, 28, drove around in a stolen Ford Focus stopping random women in quick succession and asked them for directions in a bid to snatch them off the street. The pair targeted two women and a child in the space of one morning then crashed into a parked car and threatened two witnesses who started filming the accident.
Godfrey then dragged one of the women to the floor by the neck before they fled and their vehicle was found abandoned nearby.
Their crime spree began at around 8am on 6 November, 2018, when they pulled alongside a woman walking in Swanley, Kent, and offered her a lift. Minutes later, they pulled up next to a teenage girl and asked her to get into the car to give them directions.
When she refused they followed her and only drove away after she pretended to make a phone call, then fled to a nearby supermarket and called her mother.
Around half an hour later, a 24-year-old woman was heading towards the town's train station when the car was used to block the footpath in front of her. Father-of-two Parker, who had been taking drugs and drinking earlier that day, opened the back door and told her to get in.
When she refused, he then grabbed her arm and tried to force her inside, but the brave victim fought back and managed to make her way to safety.
Godfrey and Parker then drove to a nearby private car park, where they collided with a parked car. Parker was said to have offered "a score" - only £20 - to pay for the damage, but then began to drive away.
The men saw two women trying to take photos on their phones of the damage and began screaming at them to hand over the devices. One woman began "discreetly" recording the car, but it then suddenly stopped and a passenger, Godfrey, got out shouting "give me that f****g phone, give me that phone”.
Godfrey then put his arm around the neck of one of the women and dragged her to the floor. They also tried to rob another woman of her mobile after their car was photographed. Friends of the woman managed to stop the attack by claiming she was pregnant.
They eventually fled and the stolen Ford Focus was later abandoned around 20 miles away near Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
At Maidstone Crown Court, Parker was jailed for three years and nine months, to be served concurrently with another prison sentence for an unrelated crime. Parker, of Dagenham, east London, denied the charges but was found guilty after a trial of attempted robbery and attempted kidnap. Godfrey, of Colchester, Essex, also denied the allegations but was convicted of attempted robbery and sentenced to two years and six months in prison.
Forensic examination of the vehicle and clothing identified both offenders and Parker’s DNA was also found on a victim's coat who he tried to pull into their car.
Judge Philip Statman told the defendants as he handed down the sentence: "This court has to ensure that young women are able to walk the streets without being bundled into a car. I shouldn't speculate as to what your motives were in trying to bundle your victim into your car. I saw no genuine remorse during the trial."
'I've been having nightmares'
The 24-year-old victim told the court how she was left traumatised by the ordeal. She said: "I couldn't even think about walking down that road again. I've been having nightmares, dreaming about what happened over and over and what could have happened if he managed to get me in that car.
"I began thinking, what if there was a gang? I had to discuss with my dad about him taking me to work and picking me up so I didn't have to walk down that road. This case has taken four years to get to court and I suspect this will continue to affect me throughout my life, all due to one man deciding to try and force me into a car.
"I have no idea what his intentions were but my mind will always go to the darkest place and I cannot change that. The whole experience has left me very shaken. It was four years ago and I have had to dwell on what happened and what could have happened if my colleagues had not been there.
"I was just standing there and these males dragged me to the floor because I tried to take a photo of the car that damaged a colleague's car. I was just doing what I felt was the right thing to do."
Prosecutors during the trial told the jury the crimes were sexually motivated.
Vivian Walters told the court, describing the moment Parker tried to abduct a woman near the train station: "She refused [to get in the car], in quite robust terms. He [Parker] took hold of her arm in a relatively hard grip and said to her 'get in the car'.
"He nudged her towards the car, but she told him to 'f*** off” more than once and yanked her arm back. He then told her that he was joking and said that 'Jay is in the car' as if she knew him. She told him that she did not know anyone called Jay."
Ms Walters also told the court how Godfrey attacked a witness who began taking photographs after they crashed into a parked car.
She added: "He [Godfrey] then used his left forearm and placed it across her throat while pulling her backwards, demanding she hand over the phone - no doubt because any photographs or video on it would link them to the collision in the car park and therefore the attempted kidnap just outside. Clearly, the purpose of the violence against her was to take her phone."
After the sentencing, the judge called the schoolgirl forward from the public gallery and praised her for her bravery.
Detective Con Hayley Campbell, of West Kent CID, said: "The intentions of Godfrey and Parker in trying to encourage and force females into their car remain unclear.
"However, there can be no doubt that their actions will have caused panic and genuine fear to each and every person who they targeted and approached.
"Everyone should be able to go about their everyday lives without fear of harassment or assault.
"The victims in this case will sadly bear the psychological scars of these incidents for a very long time, but I do hope they will also be very proud of the courage they have shown in helping us ensure both these men have now been convicted and rightly sentenced to prison."