Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Man jailed after rape in cemetery

A 21-year-old man who raped an elderly woman in a cemetery has been jailed indefinitely.

Haydyn Alan Mellor attacked the woman as she tended a grave in a cemetery near Oswestry, Shropshire, on 23 July.

Mellor, of no fixed address, admitted two counts of rape, one of sexual assault and one of theft.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court he was given 12 months for the count of theft to run concurrently with the indeterminate sentences for the other offences.

'Huge courage'

Det Insp Mick Homden, from West Mercia Police, said: "It really was quite a deplorable crime committed by a very dangerous man who thankfully is behind bars."

He added that the victim has "suffered greatly" from the incident.

Det Insp Homden said: "It's taking her time to rebuild to get her life back in some sort of order.

"Thankfully she's got the great love and support of her close family and her friends behind her.

"But she's shown huge courage, huge strength."

Det Insp Homden said he was satisfied with the sentence.

He added: "Hopefully the people of Gobowen and Oswestry can feel safe.

"Crimes of this nature are very rare.

"Shropshire is one of the safest places in the country, so it's something we should all remember."

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