Burglar from Headcorn tied up and violently assaulted pensioner
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A violent and callous burglar from Headcorn who tied up and assaulted a pensioner inside her own home has been found guilty following a trial.
Billy Williams gagged and bound his elderly victim so tightly she remained secured to a chair for more than two days and was only discovered after worried relatives called police.
The ordeal began at around 6.00pm on Sunday 4 April 2021, when the victim initially noticed Williams acting suspiciously next to her property, in an area close to Maidstone.
Williams, aged 29, of Smarden Road, Headcorn was unknown to the victim and asked for water after claiming he had lost a bottle from his bike.
The victim provided him with water as he stood outside a gate, but as she made her way back inside he leapt over the gate and forced his hand over her mouth whilst holding a chisel to her neck.
Threats and violence
Williams made repeated demands for money and valuables and forced the victim into several rooms of her home.
He picked up a knife and held it to the victim’s face and abdomen, threatening to kill her. She was also sexually assaulted.
After ransacking the house, Williams tightly bound the victim to a chair using wiring and tape across her hands, ankles and neck. Her mouth was also bound and stuffed with material, leaving her unable to shout for help and struggling to breathe.
He then doused the victim with alcohol from bottles in her living room, before leaving with money and possessions including a laptop and other personal items, as well as a suit protector case to carry them in.
On Tuesday 6 April, Kent Police received a call expressing concerns from someone who had been unable to contact the victim. An officer attended her home during the evening and found an entrance to the property was open.
The victim was found gagged and tied to the chair, which had fallen onto its side. She was dehydrated and had suffered cuts and bruises to her face and body.
Evidence and trial
An investigation was carried out by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
This included a police media appeal which led to a witness coming forward who identified Williams at an identification parade, having seen him in the local area on the same day as the burglary.
The victim’s property was forensically examined and Williams’ DNA was detected on a sherry bottle used to douse the victim in alcohol.
CCTV footage was also recovered which showed him riding a bicycle and carrying a suit protector case which matched one stolen from the victim’s home. It appeared to contain several bulky items.
Williams was arrested on 20 April. He was wearing clothing which matched that shown on the CCTV footage.
He admitted he was the person shown in images with the bike, but claimed he was carrying ‘an awning’ which he had found in a hedge.
Officers charged him with counts of aggravated burglary, false imprisonment and a sexual assault. He was further charged with a separate and unrelated burglary offence, which was carried out on the same day.
At Maidstone Crown Court, Williams denied any wrongdoing and the case went to trial. On Thursday 16 December, he was found guilty of the offences by unanimous verdict.
He has been remanded in custody pending sentencing. A date for the sentencing hearing has yet to be determined.
Gratuitous and barbaric
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, said: ‘Williams preyed upon a vulnerable woman who was living on her own and subjected her to the most horrific and terrifying ordeal. He bound her so tightly to the chair that had she remained undiscovered for much longer she may not have even survived. ‘His gratuitous, barbaric and callous actions have caused physical and no doubt extensive psychological scars to the victim. He has a history of violent offending and is clearly a very dangerous individual and someone who the public need protecting from. 'I do hope the victim can now at least take some reassurance and comfort from the fact Williams has now been found guilty and will no doubt receive a significant prison sentence.’