Jailed sex attacker: ‘A danger to all women’

Brutal: Michael Chiswick.
Brutal: Michael Chiswick.
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A thug who subjected a Sheffield student to a brutal sex attack as she made her way home from a tuition fees protest has been branded a danger to women and locked up indefinitely.

Michael David Chiswick, aged 32, attacked the student in Sheffield’s red light district as she walked home in the early hours of the morning from a protest sit-in.

The 22-year-old victim – who said she thought she was going to die – was left traumatised by her ordeal.

She said her attacker had ‘hatred in his eyes’ and was left battered, bruised and suffering from nightmares and panic attacks.

She was also forced to take a year off university to recover from her ordeal and faced a traumatic wait for the results of tests to establish whether she’d caught any sexually transmitted diseases.

Sentencing Chiswick at Sheffield Crown Court, Recorder Anton Lodge QC described the attack as the ‘violent degradation of an innocent girl’ and said he had damaged her life. He said: “Having knocked her to the ground you then carried out a violent sexual assault on her. You ripped her clothing off, you ordered her to help you and you caused her serious injury and no doubt, great distress and fear.

“I am satisfied you are dangerous and I’m satisfied you represent a risk to members of the public of further offences being committed by you. You are a danger to women.”

Jayne Beckett, prosecuting, said the victim was walking home to her accommodation at around 4am on the night of December 3, 2010 – a day heavy snow had fallen in Sheffield bringing the city to a standstill. As she walked along Alma Street in Kelham Island, she was approached by Chiswick who, thinking she was a prostitute, asked if she wanted ‘business’.

Miss Beckett said earlier he’d approached a foreign student in the same area also asking for sex.

She told the court the victim became aware she was being followed and suddenly Chiswick lunged towards her and punched her in the side of the face knocking her to the ground.

“He was very aggressive, very rough with her,” said Miss Beckett. Then he sexually assaulted her in an attack she described as ‘absolute agony’. She was left with a chipped tooth and cuts, bruising and swelling to her face and chest.

In a harrowing victim impact statement, the student spoke of the terrible effects the attack had on her. She said she had been left embarrassed, felt dirty and had suffered from panic attacks and nightmares.

She said men and snow triggered flashbacks of her ordeal and she had gone from being a happy, independent young woman to being grumpy, lonely and isolated.

The victim said her ordeal was made worse by the bureaucracy she’d faced after the incident which included medical examinations, form filling and taking a year off university.

Chiswick, of Sheffield Road, Birdwell, Barnsley, who admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by penetration, must serve a minimum of five years before he can be considered for parole.