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9 July 2010, 14:12
A Peterborough man, who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a mother, has been given an indeterminate prison sentence.
57 year old Philip Hopkins [pictured - right], from Broom Close in Peterborough, gagged, bound and attacked the mother of two in the back of his car in the village of Castor last year.
He met her on a dating website in September 2010 by using a false name and fake picture [pictured - below], which was a portrait of a model and actor.
He pretended to be a wealthy and successful businessman, who advised the Government on security matters, to secure a date with his victim.
Just before meeting the woman, he sent her a text message stating that he would be sending his personal driver "George" to pick her up from her Kings Lynn home as he had a business meeting first.
However, "George" was actually Hopkins.
He continued to pretend to be the chauffeur until the attack took place.
He has been given an indeterminate prison sentence by Peterborough Crown Court.
Hopkins must serve at least four years and 78 days before being considered for parole.
However, the sentence means he will not be released until he is not considered to be a danger to the public, and he will remain on the sex offenders register for life.
Detective Inspector Becky Tipping, from the sexual offences team at Thorpe Wood Police Station, said: "This was a pre-planned, shocking crime that left the victim traumatised and this is reflected in the sentence given.
The case should also serve as a reminder of the care people should take when meeting people on the internet. They should do whatever checks are necessary to confirm the person is genuine and meet for the first time in a public place.
The vast majority of people who use social websites are genuine but the internet can also be used by predators like Hopkins."
Prosecuting lawyer Nicola Rice, for Cambridgeshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The victim of this incident was put through a terrifying ordeal at the hands of the defendant who went to great lengths to conceal his true identity so that he could carry out this assault for his own sexual gratification.
We hope that now this case has been brought to a successful conclusion that the victim can move on positively with her life.
We want to take the opportunity to thank her and all the other witnesses for coming forward and assisting in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Without their support this dangerous man would not have been brought to justice.
We hope that other victims will feel more confident reporting crimes of this nature and we can reassure the public that we will do everything we can to bring offenders like this to justice."