Woman jumped from balcony to escape rapist who abducted her on her way to work

A man is facing a lengthy prison sentence after he plucked a woman from the street and held her prisoner and raped her.

The victim was on her way to work at 7.30am on January 21 when Zachery Owens, 26, bundled her into a BMW he did not have permission to drive and took her to a house in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire where he raped her twice.

The ordeal only ended when she jumped from a second floor balcony onto the street below. Owens appeared at Luton Crown Court yesterday where he admitted six offences on the same victim, including kidnap, assault by penetration, and two charges of rape.

He denied false imprisonment and inflicting grievous bodily harm, and those charges will be left on file. Prosecutor Simon said: ‘The woman suffered an injury to her face and head during the abduction. She jumped from a second floor balcony to escape her ordeal.

‘This was the abduction and rape of a stranger at half past seven in the morning as she walked to work. It is an alarming offence.’

Owens, who had a previous conviction of assault with intent to rob, fled while a witness went to help the victim and called police. She suffered serious injuries and required some time in hospital, while Owens was arrested the following day.

Judge Barbara Mensah remanded him in custody until next month, when he will be sentenced.

Detective Inspector Phil Moss said: ‘This is a horrific case which justifiably shocked the community of Hemel Hempstead earlier this year. The victim has since astounded the entire [major crime unit] with her bravery and composure throughout the investigation, and I would like to pay tribute to her publicly.

‘She has enabled us to build a strong case against her attacker and, with her help, Owens has appeared before court today. We now await the outcome of the sentencing next month.’