A MAN who grabbed a woman round her neck during an attempt to rape her in his van dumped her in a field near Claverdon after she lost consciousness.
Following his arrest the next day Jason Croker claimed the woman had asked him for a lift and was uninjured when he dropped her off where she had asked him to.
But that was a lie, and the 38 year-old of Oldbury Close, Redditch, was jailed for nine years after a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of attempted rape, which he had denied.
Prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said Croker and the woman, who is in her 30s, had been friends with Croker for a number of years – but they had never been in any form of relationship.
In May 2013 Croker contacted the woman by text asking if she would help him move some things he had in a storage facility.
The woman was happy to help and he picked her up in a van. When she asked during the journey where the storage facility was, he stalled, saying not to worry about it and that he would take her home afterwards.
But there was no storage, and they ended up in a relatively secluded country lane near Claverdon, where he drove into a field.
He then told her they were going to have sex. He tried to force her clothes off, and then pinned her down and undid his trousers.
He told her that if she did not consent he was going to rape her.
She punched him some to his head, but her efforts were in vain as was too strong for her, and he sexually assaulted her before grabbing her round the throat and squeezing so hard she lost consciousness.
Mr Sandhu said: “Because she had passed out, only one person knows what happened next. But, having caused her to lose consciousness, he dumped her body in the field and disappeared in the van. Having not got what he wanted, he left her stranded and secluded.”
Mr Sandhu pointed out that the nearest house to the field where Croker’s victim came round was a quarter of a mile away.
She had an injured ankle, but managed to hobble back to the road and flag down motorist who was passing with her daughter and told them she thought she had been raped.
Mrs Wallbank took her to police officers dealing with a traffic accident, and she was taken to hospital with injuries consistent with what she said had happened.
But Croker denied trying to rape her, claiming it was the woman who had contacted him asking him to give her a lift to that area, where he claimed she was planning to visit someone.
After the jury had returned its unanimous verdict, James Doyle, defending, said Croker, a supervisor with DHL, was undergoing a separation from his wife.
Jailing Croker, and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “This was wicked and deceitful selfishness. You made up your mind you were going to gratify yourself sexually with this poor woman.”