A SEX attacker caught eight years after he tried to rape a heavily pregnant woman then threatened to kill her and her unborn child was today finally behind bars.
Friends and family of the traumatised victim gasped in relief and burst into tears as a jury found Theodore Ferrigon, now 24, guilty of attempted rape and robbery committed on wasteland in Arbourthorne in November 2003.
Judge Michael Murphy QC sentenced Ferrigon, of Water Slacks Close, Woodhouse, to eight years in prison.
He told him: “As a result of what you did that night your victim suffers from a good many problems.
“It’s the stuff of nightmares for any woman to be attacked in the dark by an unknown stranger. How much worse then must it be when she is seven months pregnant and you hit her in the stomach and then threatened to kill her and her unborn baby.
“Notwithstanding your age at the time and the fact that you haven’t committed any other offences of this nature, a substantial sentence must be imposed and you must be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of your natural life.”
In an emotional victim impact statement read to the court, Ferrigon’s victim, who was 21 at the time, said she still had to shower three times a day because she felt dirty.
She said she was nervous around new people, didn’t go out alone after dark and found it difficult to trust others.
The victim added: “I keep my doors and windows locked and I worry about my daughter growing up and going out into the world.
“I have had to live for seven years, knowing he’s out on the streets.”
She said she still had nightmares about the attack and had suffered seven years of sleepless nights as a result.
“I’m very angry this man has damaged my life and that of my family in this way.”
The court heard the woman was on her way to see her boyfriend on November 17, 2003, when Ferrigon pounced on Kenninghall Road, dragged her to the ground and attacked her.
After attempting to rape her, he punched her in the stomach, kicked her and tore off her top.
When she screamed out she was pregnant, he swore and replied: “I’ll kill you and your unborn baby.”
Ferrigon was distracted by a passing van and his victim fled but not before he stole her mobilephone and £30.
Seven years later when he was arrested for a drugs-related offence, his DNA was taken and added to the national DNA database.
It was matched to DNA left at the scene - bloodstains on the victim’s jacket and a discarded hat.
Prosecutor Fiona Swain said there was a one in a billion chance the DNA belonged to someone else.
The court was told Ferrigon was a ‘loner’ who had a severe stutter and was ‘effectively mute’.
He had had no contact with his mother since the age of 13 and none with his father since he was 18.
Ferrigon was brought up in care and was on the child protection register until the age of four.
The court was told he was intellectually impaired and had a history of depression and suicidal thoughts but he was not mentally ill.