Lengthy sentence for predator who raped boy on train and sexually assaulted woman in her own home

Rapist Christopher Key

A dangerous rapist has been handed a 16 year prison sentence plus eight years on licence following a British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.

Christopher Key, 39, formerly of Westbourne Gardens, Folkestone, had previously pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court to raping a teenage boy. On 8 December he was sentenced to 16 years in prison, with the eight year extension.

The court heard that, on 27 March 2023, the victim, who was 14 at the time, boarded the train alone at Margate after spending time with his friends. Key also boarded the train at this station and when the victim sat at a table seat, Key took the opportunity to sit opposite him.

Key then proceeded to question the teenager, asking him inappropriate questions, and staring at him, making him uncomfortable. Bravely, the victim was able to capture a short video of Key’s face before Key proceeded to threaten and then rape him.

The victim was able to get away and get the attention of a couple on the train, who intervened and bravely confronted Key, allowing the victim to get off the train safely. He ran home and alerted his mother to the incident, who called 999.

Meanwhile, the couple who intervened remained on the train with Key and alerted a train guard.

The image of Key taken by the victim was sent to officers, who met the train and arrested him.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Sergeant Mike Blakeburn said: “This man is a dangerous predator who targeted a lone teenage boy. I am pleased that our investigation has resulted in him receiving a significant custodial sentence.

“I would like to thank the victim and his family for the support they have shown throughout this investigation. It has been an incredibly difficult and upsetting experience for them and I hope this outcome brings them some closure.

“The victim’s bravery in reporting this at his soonest opportunity, along with the video of Key, meant officers could quickly respond and apprehend Key. I commend his quick thinking in such a traumatic circumstance. Additionally, I’d like to thank the bystanders for bravely stepping in and allowing the victim to escape.

“Tackling sexual offences and violence is a priority for BTP. We take all reports seriously and will do everything in our power to bring them to justice.

“If you are a victim of, or a witness to, a sexual offence on the railway – I urge you to report it to BTP by texting 61016 or via the Railway Guardian app. Always call 999 in an emergency.”

On the same date Key was also convicted of sexually assaulting a woman at her home in Hythe.

He visited a woman he knew in April 2020 and subjected her to several days of abuse which included a vicious sexual assault. On one occasion he threw her to the ground and physically beat her with his fist leaving her with bruises.

Key’s victim managed to record audio of the sexual assault on her mobile phone, which was later played in court as evidence. Despite initially denying the allegations he later pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court to sexual assault and actual bodily harm.

On Friday 8 December, Key was sentenced to seven years and one month in prison for these offences. It was part of the overall 16-year jail sentence, which includes the conviction for rape, with a further eight years on licence.

Kent Police’s investigating officer, Detective Constable Nichola Shepherd, said: “Our victim was taken advantage of in the worst kind of way by Key. He abused her trust and made her feel unsafe in her own home.

“She was extremely brave to come forward and report this to us and the audio of the attack that was played in court shows what a depraved and dangerous individual he is.

“I hope this sentence allows both of Key’s victims to come to terms with what happened to them and rest a little easier knowing he is behind bars where he can no longer pose a threat to society.”


  1. We can only hope that this sick specimen will be reminded,daily,of the errors of his ways.A huge bar of soap,in all orifices,with his daily shower would help.

  2. Why was he even out in public if he had already done another assault to the woman in April 2020? Was he out on bail while awaiting trial? Why? He should have already been locked away so a second assault on a victim couldn’t have happened.

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