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Leeds sex attacker receives life prison sentence

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A man has been jailed for life after putting a young woman through a terrifying ordeal in Leeds earlier this year.

Paul Braithwaite – who has a number of previous convictions for similar attacks on university students – had targeted the 20-year-old as she walked through the Hyde Park area of the city.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the defendant had been out walking his dog in the early hours of February 16th when the incident occurred.

Braithwaite, 48, had lifted the woman up and tried to carry her away, before sexually assaulting her.

His victim had managed to struggle free and escape down the road. Police were called and Braithwaite was arrested.

A victim impact statement revealed the effect the attack had had on the student.

“Since the incident I have suffered from insomnia and flashbacks,” she told officers. “It haunts me daily. It makes me shudder and I am always showering.

“I’ve lost confidence and my self-esteem has plummeted. I have spent too much time thinking about that awful night.”

Braithwaite, of Recreation Crescent, Holbeck, had originally denied the offence, but was later picked out at an identity parade and linked to the crime by DNA evidence.

He finally admitted to the assault on the day the trial was due to start.

Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC told the defendant that he would serve a minimum of nine years for the offence.

“You may well remain a threat towards women for the rest of your life,” he said.

A conviction for sexual offences, no matter how small, can have a devastating impact on your family, business and future career prospects. If you are accused of committing any form of sexual offence then it is essential to seek expert legal representation as soon as possible. For more details on how Lester Morrill’s experienced crime team can help, please contact us.