'Dangerous and vile' Gravesend man jailed for trying to rape woman he met on dating website
PUBLISHED: 09:23 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 29 May 2018
A sexual predator who attempted to rape a woman he met through a dating website has been jailed for more than nine years.
Miles Conlon, of Truro Road, Gravesend, met the woman online in July 2014 and they exchanged messages before arranging to meet in Harlow the following day.
Conlon, who told her his name was Mark, drove her to Harlow Town Park, where they went for a walk.
He kissed her and she tried to pull away. Ignoring her repeated calls for him to stop, he sexually assaulted and attempted to rape the woman.
She managed to push him away and make her way home, where she raised the alarm and police were contacted.
Conlon, now 38, handed himself in at Harlow Police Station the following month.
Following a thorough investigation, he was charged in June 2016 with attempted rape and assault by penetration.
He denied the charges and was due to stand trial in June last year, but failed to appear at court.
He was arrested three weeks later and claimed he had been kidnapped and raped. Following an investigation into his allegations by Kent Police, he was charged with perverting the course of justice.
Conlon admitted attempted rape, assault by penetration and perverting the course of justice at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, April 27.
He was jailed on Friday, May 25, for nine years and nine months.
Investigating officer Det Con Nigel Garwood said: “Miles Conlon is a dangerous and vile individual.
“He subjected his victim to a horrific assault and then put her through even further trauma by attempting to delay the judicial process.
“She and her family have even been threatened by unknown people trying to persuade her to withdraw her complaint.
“She has endured three years of hell but has shown great dignity and bravery.
“This has been a difficult and frustrating case, and I am pleased that she will now hopefully have some closure and that other women will be protected from Miles Conlon while he remains behind bars.
“I believe there may be other victims and I would ask anyone who is affected by this case to please contact us.”
The victim said: “This day was to be the worst day of my life because I had come out of a violent relationship with a partner and was just getting on my feet again, ready to have another relationship, when I decided to go onto a dating site.”
Following the attack, she suffered anxiety attacks and did not want to leave the house.
“I have cried, I have lost sleep, I have been angry at times and have been on a rollercoaster of emotions during the police investigation,” she said.
“I have had times where I have felt really down, but my friends and children have all been there for me. They have been my rocks.
“When the kids were young I used to take them to Harlow Town Park, but since July 27, 2014 I have been unable to go to the park as there are constant reminders of what happened to me.
“I have been trying to get on with my life and at times it has been hard.
“But I am a strong independent woman who has briefly been knocked down but will rise above it all for myself and my children and no matter what is thrown at me I will come back a stronger person.
“The police have been fantastic during this and have supported me very well and I would recommend that if anyone goes through anything like this to report it to police. They have been nothing but professional during my dealings.”
Anyone affected should contact 101. Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org