UPDATE: Elderly Sheffield woman praised for helping to bring her attacker to justice

Martin Holmes, 52, of Machon Bank, Nether Edge.

Martin Holmes, 52, of Machon Bank, Nether Edge.

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Police have praised a brave elderly woman who helped detectives to bring a man to justice who had subjected her to a terrifying sexual assault in her own home.

The 71-year-old victim was followed to her home in Norton Lees by 52-year-old Martin Holmes who threatened her with a knife, stole £10 and a wedding ring before sexually assaulting her.

Holmes, of Machon Bank, Nether Edge, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated burglary at Hull Crown Court on Wednesday.

Outside of court, detective chief inspector Zaf Ali said: “This was a nasty and violent attack on an elderly lady that sent shockwaves through the local community.

“Holmes’ behaviour was truly appalling and I am relieved that he admitted his guilt, thus sparing the victim the further pain and distress of a trial.

“I want to commend the victim and her family for their bravery and dignity throughout this investigation. I hope this conviction offers them some reassurance and allows them and the local community to move forward from this horrific event.”

Police were called after the incident on Tuesday, March 17, and an investigation was launched.

Officers began house-to-house enquiries and trawled through CCTV in the surrounding area, as a media appeal was launched to identify the woman’s attacker.

CCTV enquiries showed Holmes following his victim, getting on the same bus as her and getting off at the same stop before following her to the property.

Forensic evidence also tied Holmes to the crime.

When officers showed up to arrest Holmes three days later, on searching his property they found a copy of the local media coverage.

DCI Ali added: “When we searched Holmes’ house, we were unable to find the victim’s wedding ring. Subsequent enquiries revealed that he had pawned it at a local shop shortly after the crime.

“When we arrived at the shop to claim it back, it had already been melted down, thus causing further pain and distress to the woman.”

Holmes was remanded in custody to be sentenced in July.

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