Jail for man who launched horror attack on walker

Attempted rape of a woman as she walked along Mornington Road in Lytham
Attempted rape of a woman as she walked along Mornington Road in Lytham
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A man who subjected a dog walker to a terrifying sex attack in Lytham has been given an 11 year extended sentence.

Daniel Lewis’s victim put up a brave struggle after being grabbed and pulled to the ground.

Lewis told the 20-year-old victim he was going to rape her. She bravely struggled and screamed for help, despite warnings that he would kill her if she didn’t be quiet.

Preston Crown Court heard she bit his tongue and three fingers when he tried to put them down her throat.

She also told police he tried to suffocate her during the early morning ordeal in the Preston Road area.

A judge told him: “This was an extremely serious attempt at rape in very distressing circumstances indeed”.

Lewis was given a sentence of eight and a half years prison, with two and a half years extended licence to follow.

The 24-year-old, of Jeffrey Square, Blackpool, had pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted rape.

The crime took place on October 11 and the prosecution said the victim had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tim Brennand, prosecuting, said it was about 6.50am that Friday morning when CCTV showed the defendant walking at a pace.

Lewis tried to get into a conversation with the victim. He then resorted to a more sinister tactic, said Mr Brennand, grabbing her by the waist and, in her words, he “smashed” her down on to the ground. “He was trying to suffocate me”, the victim told police. “I was absolutely screaming, screaming for help. I didn’t know what else to do”.

A nearby resident shouted from her window and went to offer what help she could.

The judge said the woman deserved thanks for her public-spirited behaviour. The attack then stopped just as quickly as it had begun.

But Lewis then picked up her mobile phone from the ground. Mr Brennand said again showing commendable bravery, the young woman screamed at him to give it back.

He said the psychological impact on the victim has been profound.

The court heard that police very promptly got intelligence from CCTV cameras. This quickly led them to an address on Preston Road, where an associate of Lewis lived.

The defendant was picked out on an ID procedure.In one police interview he spoke of having got extremely drunk on a night out in Preston.

He denied targeting the girl, but accepted he may have tried to chat her up.

He had a number of previous offences on his record, including several for robbery. In 2009 he was given four years youth custody for an aggravated burglary.

Julie Taylor, defending, said Lewis had behaved in a terrible manner.

He is genuinely remorseful. He is thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed by what he did, she said.

“His guilty plea meant this young lady didn’t have to give evidence and relive the events of that day and being subject to cross examination.

“I accept he has a terrible record, but for nothing of this nature”.

The barrister said he only had a limited recollection of the events. “That is not an attempt on his part to minimise his actions. It is a genuine disability to remember what actually happened, through his own self-induced intoxication,” added Miss Taylor.

The touching had been over her clothing.

Judge Graham Knowles QC told Lewis as he passed sentence “You saw her and at some point you decided you would do what you wanted to with her and that would be rape.”

He said the defendant had told his victim he would kill her if she continued screaming.

“She had the resources, she had presence of mind, that sort of strength of will that led her to fight against you and seek to kick and push you off and to continue when she could to scream.

“It was your misfortune and everyone else’s good fortune, as it happened, that was how this young woman reacted on that day.

“She would have thought she was fighting for her life”.

Lewis will be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.