Man jailed for serious sexual assault and attempted rape in Leeds

editorial image
0
Have your say

A man who seriously sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a woman under railway arches in 2004 has been jailed for three years.

Wesley Walker, aged 28 and from Lingfield Drive in Leeds, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday following a British Transport Police investigation.

The court heard that around 9.30pm on Thursday, 30 September 2004, Walker approached a street worker in the Marshall Street area of Leeds.

The victim, who was 20 at the time of the incident, and lived in Leeds, then accompanied Walker to a path under a railway arch off Bath Road, where he grabbed and threatened her, before seriously sexually assaulting and attempting to rape her. He also bit the victim a number of times on her breasts, buttocks and face, before stealing her phone and fleeing.

The victim managed to raise the alarm with a friend, who contacted police and a full investigation was launched by BTP.

Forensic analysis was undertaken from DNA on the victim and at the scene, a full area search was carried out, witnesses were spoken to and CCTV covering the area was also examined. But despite following a number of leads, the investigation eventually hit a dead end.

In 2006, Walker was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. His DNA was taken and run through the national database, which brought back a hit and linked him to the assault in Leeds two years earlier.

Officers arrested Walker, who offered no comment in interview. Following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, no further action was taken against Walker due to lack of evidence.

On May 19, 2012, Walker entered a Leeds Police station where he fully admitted to being involved in the incident and attempting to rape the victim, and he was subsequently charged.

After he didn’t turn up at court to attend a Plea and Case Management hearing on Wednesday he was arrested by BTP officers and remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday, 18 July.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Tom Eastwood, investigating officer from BTP, said: “What the victim in this case had to endure is absolutely unthinkable and I would like to praise her throughout what I’m sure has been an extremely long and very difficult process for her.

“Walker made no comment when arrested and interviewed about the incident in 2006. Eight long years after he committed the attack he handed himself into police. For eight years, the victim of his violent and degrading attack has had to live with the consequences of his actions, knowing her attacker has not been brought to justice.

“Walkers behaviour and actions were despicable and something no-one should be subjected to.”