Sex predator jailed for six years after attack

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A police chief has welcomed the sentencing of a ‘dangerous sexual predator who targeted and preyed on his young victims’ as he was jailed for six years.

Anthony Ridsdale, from Hipperholme, was locked up after he attacked a teenage girl within days of being given bail over other sexual allegations.

He was described as being “in a complete rage” when he dragged his 18-year-old victim into a wooded area in Halifax.

Detective Inspector David Shaw of Calderdale Safeguarding said: “I hope the sentence brings some comfort and closure to the victims and their families who have shown great bravery and courage throughout the investigation and trial.

“Ridsdale is a dangerous sexual predator who targeted and preyed on his young victims, and such is the danger he is considered to pose that he will also spend the rest of his life on the Sex Offenders Register.

“We would always encourage victims of sexual assaults to come forward and reassure them that all incidents will be taken seriously, dealt with sensitively and that we will do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.”

At the time of the rape in June last year Ridsdale, who was then 19, was already on bail after being questioned by police about allegations of sexual abuse made by another teenage girl.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Ridsdale, of Tennyson Place, Hipperholme, had denied any involvement in the other matters, but it was less than a fortnight later that he raped the teenager, who cannot identified for legal reasons.

Prosecutor Gerald Hendron told the court how Ridsdale put his hand over the teenager’s mouth to stop her screaming and ignored her pleas for him to get off.

In her victim impact statement she described how she had now been left “looking over her shoulder” and found it very difficult to trust people.

The complainant said she had also suffered sleep problems and nightmares after the attack.

Ridsdale, now 20, pleaded guilty last year to the rape charge and he also admitted a series of other offences relating to sexual activity with two other teenage girls shortly before the attack in Halifax.

Barrister Stephen Wood, for Ridsdale, submitted that his client had endured a difficult childhood and upbringing and described him as “a loner”.

He said Ridsdale’s remorse had compelled him to plead guilty to all of the offending and not put the girls through the ordeal of giving evidence.

Judge Jonathan Rose concluded that Ridsdale was a dangerous offender and he imposed an extended licence period of four years which will take effect once he is released from custody. Ridsdale will now have to register as a sex offended for life with the police and he will be subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which restricts any unsupervised contact with under 16s.

Judge Rose said he was “deeply troubled” by Ridsdale’s case and satisfied that he posed a significant risk to young women.

The judge said the rape attack was wicked and deeply unpleasant and the victim had been targeted by Ridsdale.

Judge Rose noted that Ridsdale had used “hurtful words” towards his victim after the rape and had also threatened to do it again if she told anyone about it. “This was a wicked act against a vulnerable child,” the judge told Ridsdale, who showed no emotion as the six-year sentence in a young offenders institution was handed down.