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Joseph ‘rugby tackled woman, raped her, and made off with cash’

David Joseph

David Joseph, 31, of Elephant & Castle, has been handed a 12-year sentence for rape, assault by penetration, non-fatal strangulation, and robbery after he refused to attend his sentencing.

David Joseph pretended to offer the woman directions, leading her into Burgess Park before ‘rugby-tackling’ her to the ground and raping her, then taking her phone and money. The two did not know each other, and it was a ‘prolonged and sustained’ attack.

Joseph first met the woman near London Bridge station. She was new to London and did not know her way around, and as she was trying to find a route to Peckham where she had plans with a friend, Joseph offered to give her directions and suggested they exchange phone numbers so she would have more local friends.

He suggested instead of public transport it would simply be quicker to travel on his bike, and she agreed, while she simultaneously tracked the route on her phone and they were indeed going in the correct direction.

“Once within the darkness, he suggested they both have a drink,” Recorder Margia Mostafa said. “She expressed reluctance but had some of the rum. It was after this that things took a very serious turn to the worse. He tried to touch her, she made it plain she didn’t want any sexual attention.”

The victim moved away and tried to flee, but Joseph rugby-tackled her to the floor as she begged him to stop. He put his hands over her threat and raped her, telling her to ‘stop struggling’ and ‘you’re a fighter aren’t you’.

David Joseph raped the victim in Burgess Park
Burgess Park, where David Joseph raped the victim //GETTY

It was during this strangulation that he stole her bank cards and cash, before demanding that she hand over her mobile phone. He then fled the scene while the woman escaped from the park and approached a member of the public who contacted the police.

While strangling her he then robbed her for her bank cards, cash, and phone. He then fled while she also ran from the park and asked a member of the public to call the police.

Police arrived at approximately 5:30am and they drove around the park with the victim hoping he would be spotten. They eventually traced him through forensic efforts and mobile phone evidence, and upon arrest has his victim’s bank cards.

The judge read the woman’s victim impact statement, where she said said: “I felt suicidal because the gravity of the incident sunk in. It heightened my anxiety and I no longer felt in control of my life.”

The court heard that his actions have caused physical and emotional trauma and that the woman is scared to leave her house and suffers flashbacks.

“I take the view that the defendant took the victim into the park with a specific purpose of committing the sexual offences and robbing her. I also take the view the offences have had a severe psychological effect on the victim,” Recorder Mostafa said.

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