Sex attacker preyed on Sheffield schoolgirl

Crimewatch Sheffield'Stills from Crimewatch''Officers from Sheffield make nationwide appeal on BBC Crimewatch programme
Crimewatch Sheffield'Stills from Crimewatch''Officers from Sheffield make nationwide appeal on BBC Crimewatch programme
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A SCHOOLGIRL sex attacker tracked down after a massive police manhunt has been told by a judge he faces a long prison sentence.

Jordan Padley subjected the 14-year-old Sheffield girl to a horrific ordeal after pouncing on her as she walked home from school.

The girl was taking a shortcut through a wooded area, known locally as The Quarry, which runs between Fox Hill Road and Edge Well Crescent, when she was attacked.

Padley, aged 22, of Keats Road, Fox Hill, was caught in January this year - 14 months after the attack struck fear into the heart of the community.

Police mounted a major manhunt before Padley was eventually caught.

Officers took DNA samples from around 80 young men in the local community to try to find a match with forensic evidence taken from the crime scene.

Police also issued an e-fit of the hooded hollow-cheeked suspect in the wake of the attack and again on the 12-month anniversary of the attack.

And detectives used TV’s Crimewatch programme to issue a nationwide appeal.

Padley admitted the attack when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court via a video link from the jail where he has been held since he was arrested.

Judge Roger Keen QC warned him a long prison sentence was ‘inevitable’ and said reports would assess the danger he posed to the public.

The attack in November 2010 sparked fear in the Fox Hill community, with women too afraid to walk the streets alone.

Many parents refused to allow their children to go out alone while the attacker was still at large.

Padley denied raping his victim, who was 14 at the time, but admitted two counts of assault by penetration and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the pleas were acceptable and the case was adjourned until May 18 for the probation service to carry out pre-sentence reports looking into his background and his attitude to his crime.

Ian Goldsack, Padley’s barrister, told the court: “He’s 22, he’s a young man, he has never been in trouble before.”

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Etheridge, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The fact we apprehended him and he pleaded guilty demonstrates that we take reports of sexual offences very seriously.

“And it should encourage all victims of sexual offences to have the confidence to report them to the police so that we can investigate and find who is responsible.”