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Boy commended for helping catch Orpington graveyard rapist

PUBLISHED: 16:24 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 17:05 22 April 2014

James Osborne receiving his commendation today (Picture: Metropolitan Police/Facebook)

James Osborne receiving his commendation today (Picture: Metropolitan Police/Facebook)

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A 14-year-old boy who helped catch a rapist who savagely attacked a woman at knifepoint in an Orpington graveyard has been commended by the Met.

James Osborne spotted rapist James Isted dragging his victim from a footpath leading to his capture and conviction (Picture: Metropolitan Police)James Osborne spotted rapist James Isted dragging his victim from a footpath leading to his capture and conviction (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

James Osborne, a Volunteer Police Cadet, spotted James Isted dragging his victim from a footpath in May 2013.

He called officers who were able to surround All Saints Church in minutes and find Isted hiding behind a wall.

After being chased through the rear gardens of the houses backing onto the church the 27-year-old was caught, despite putting up a violent struggle and injuring an officer.

Police found the victim’s engagement ring and bank cards in his possession.

Today James was commended for his ‘outstanding public spirit and determination’ in ensuring Isted was caught.

Bromley Borough Commander Steph Roberts thanked him and seven police officers in a ceremony.

She said: “Special mention needs to be made in recognition of the public spirited and decisive quick thinking of James Osborne, as this led officers to the scene of the rape.

“His intervention assisted our officers identifying the suspect and more importantly led to evidence that actually assisted in us securing the conviction at Court.

“James is probably our future, he’s one of our Volunteer Police Cadets and it’s an absolute honour to commend him today.”

Isted was sentenced to life in prison at Croydon Crown Court in February for the attack and another rape in the same churchyard back in 2011.

The Met admitted they ‘made mistakes’ in the case, after he was arrested but not charged for the first crime, leaving him free to commit an almost identical offence 18 months later.

In the first attack, he crept up behind his 17-year-old victim as she walked along Church Hill late at night and hit her on the back of the head, dragging her into the church and subjecting to her to a prolonged rape before fleeing with her handbag and phone.

Isted was told he was no longer on police bail because of ‘a lack of evidence’ by officers in August 2012.

After he was found guilty by a jury in December 2013 of five charges of rape, robbery and assaulting a police officer, the Met said they could have stopped him attacking again.

A spokesman said they had apologised to the victim, and the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards were looking into their original investigation.

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