A man who followed a woman into an alleyway and subjected her to a nasty assault has today (Friday 18 August) been jailed for more than three years.
Liam Nicholas, 26, pursued the young woman for more than a mile from Guildhall Square in Portsmouth before grabbing her from behind and pulling her to the ground in the early hours of Wednesday 31 August 2016.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard that Nicholas assaulted the woman and attempted to pull her trousers off, but she was able to make her escape after bravely lashing out at her attacker and shouting for help.
The incident was reported to police and following a number of enquiries Nicholas was arrested the same day.
He was subsequently charged with committing an offence with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence.
Nicholas, of Meriden Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to the offence at another hearing, and was sentenced today to 3 years 4 months imprisonment by Recorder Mr David Bartlett.
The judge also imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Inspector Adam Edwards, leading the investigation, said: “This was a particularly nasty assault in which the victim was gripped in a headlock and physically beaten before Nicholas threw her to the floor and tried to pull off her trousers – no doubt with every intention to commit a sexual assault.
“This horrific attack could have continued had it not been for the bravery of the young woman who fought back and shouted for help, before fleeing the area.
“We are pleased that the victim has found justice now that Nicholas is behind bars, and I applaud the quick work of our detectives who made the arrest less than 24 hours after the incident.
“I hope the outcome of this case reassures members of the public that we take allegations of this type of offence extremely seriously, and will do everything in our power to bring offenders before the courts.”