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UPDATED WITH SENTENCE: Sexual predator who tried to kill his victim by stabbing her more than 50 times convicted

|News, Sexual offences


A dangerous offender who violently attacked his victim and threatened to kill her if she resisted him was sentenced for attempted murder and sexual assault.

Anthony Roberts, 56, of Amber Heights in Worcester, earlier admitted to the charges of assault by penetration, attempted murder and possession of a bladed article at Worcester Crown Court.

Roberts was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 19 years at the same court.

At around 2am on May 7, 2023, Roberts charged at his victim, who was walking home along the River Severn, before stabbing her multiple times and threatened to kill her if she did not let him rape her.

He then bit the woman on the chest and sexually assaulted her, as she tried to dial 999 and fight him off.

Roberts, who was on licence at the time of the attack, had been released from prison five months earlier.

The victim, who is in her 70s, suffered more than 50 stab wounds including serious injuries to her face, neck, chest, back, abdomen and legs.

Witnesses immediately called for help and when West Mercia Police officers arrived at the scene, they found a topless Roberts covered in blood and attempting to flee the scene.


Following a rapid investigation that included a search at his property, diaries which had detailed sexual fantasies and entries stating that women “did not like [Roberts]” and that he “should not trust them” were recovered.

CCTV also showed Roberts leaving his home at around 1.30am on the morning of the attack wearing the same clothing that matched items on his possession when he was arrested.

During police interview it was also noted that Roberts had commented: “What have I done?”

Roberts initially denied the charges, but changed his plea to guilty after the prosecution presented an overwhelming body of evidence to the court.

Nicola Heath, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands, said: “This was among the most depraved and ferocious attacks I’ve seen in my 20 years of working as a prosecutor.

“Roberts showed no remorse, and it is nothing short of a miracle that the victim did not die during what can only be described as a truly horrifying act of violence.

“Victims of sexual violence are left with the aftermath of a destructive and life-changing crime. Although this woman survived a terrifying ordeal, she will no doubt be left with the mental scars that remain long after the attack is over.

“Her bravery, determination and strength in being able to recount the events of that evening should not be lost on any of us and I hope today’s result provides a small sense of closure for the victim.”

Roberts will be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on October 2, 2023.

Notes to editors

  • Nicola Heath is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS West Midlands rape and serious sexual offences team.
  • Anthony Roberts (19/03/1967) was charged with: Attempted murder, contrary to S1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981, assault by penetration contrary to S2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and having an article with a blade or point, contrary to S139(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
  • At Worcester Crown Court, Anthony Roberts was sentenced to life imprisonment for a minimum term of 19 years and three months.
  • The Crown Prosecution Service launched its National Operating Model for the prosecution of adult rape on 10 July 2023 alongside a police national model. Read more here.
  • The model will step up cultural and operational change right across the CPS by setting an improved and standardised approach for how all adult rape cases are handled.
  • As a result of joint working between prosecutors and police, the CPS is seeing more case referrals, more suspects charged, and decisions made more quickly. Communication channels and working relationships between the CPS, police and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors are also seeing marked improvements.

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