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Ryan Clifford found guilty of raping woman on Swanley train station platform

A psychiatric patient has been convicted of brutally raping a woman on a deserted station platform after she had shown concern for his health.

Ryan Clifford had absconded from Littlebrook mental health hospital in Dartford when he attacked the victim at Swanley station in September last year.

The 28-year-old - described by his victim as having "devil's eyes almost" - has since been held at the Trevor Gibbens psychiatric unit at Maidstone Hospital.

Ryan Clifford has been convicted of rape
Ryan Clifford has been convicted of rape

A jury convicted him today of two offences of rape and one of assault by penetration.

Verdicts could not be reached on a further rape charge and two charges of assault by penetration and they were left on file.

Clifford, of no fixed address, denied all the charges, claiming the woman consented.

Sentence was adjourned until after May 16 for a psychiatric report.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the woman, 30, was travelling from New Ash Green to go home when she saw Clifford. He was smoking and holding a bottle of wine.

She told of her concern for him because he looked ill.

Swanley train station
Swanley train station

They both got off the train at Swanley. She asked him if he wanted to sit down and they did so by platforms three and four in an area not covered by CCTV cameras.

But she was then subjected to a terrifying ordeal lasting up to 30 minutes as trains sped by.

Clifford put his hands around the 5ft 3in tall woman’s throat, threatened her, slapped her, sexually assaulted her and raped her.

“This is all about helping someone,” she said in evidence. “If I see somebody who is ill I will automatically go to help them.”

"I feel completely ashamed and hateful about my body. No means no. I said no a lot of times" - Victim

Clifford told her she looked like a bit of a Tomboy. She told him: “I am a bit of a Tomboy.

“If I said I like Tomboys that would mean I like girls, so it would not be chatting up a male.”

She did not welcome being kissed on the mouth.

“At that point I didn’t know he was going to rape me,” she said. “I was petrified. I was scared.”

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said Clifford took off her tracksuit bottoms and trainers.

“He put a jacket on the floor,” she continued. “It was for him so he wouldn’t graze his knees. I didn’t lay on it.”

Clifford assaulted her further and raped her.

“I feel completely ashamed and hateful about my body,” she said. “No means no. I said no a lot of times.”

She said in a police interview: “I thought there were some cameras. I was waiting for someone to come and help.”

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

She eventually managed to run off and get help when Clifford was distracted by a train arriving.

Prosecutor Andrew Copeland said it was “a particularly violent attack”.

Clifford, who was escorted in the dock by a psychiatric nurse, did not give evidence.

Mr Copeland said Clifford, who has convictions for dishonesty, was detained under the Mental Health Act in August last year but he absconded while on escorted leave.

He was arrested on August 24 and placed at Littlebrook Hospital, but he escaped through a window on September 14. He attacked the woman two days later.

Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said he wanted reports to address dangerousness, Clifford’s state of health and the prognosis for the future.

Clifford’s name will appear on the sex offenders’ register.

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