Attacker must be kept locked up to protect the public

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A TEENAGE sex pest who foisted himself drunkenly on two women and a schoolgirl has failed in an Appeal Court bid to overturn his potentially lifelong sentence.

Daniel Stuart Lomas, now aged 21, was sentenced to indefinite detention for public protection after he admitted sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, and threatening behaviour.

The punishment – similar to a life term – means Lomas will be released only if he can convince a parole board he is no longer a danger.

Lawyers for Lomas, who was 17 when he committed the offences, told London’s Court of Appeal a ‘dramatic change’ in his behaviour in custody showed the judge was wrong to pass the indefinite sentence.

But three senior judges rejected their claims, ruling that, because it was unclear what motivated Lomas’ crimes, the open-ended term was needed to ensure public safety.

Mr Justice Maddison, sitting with Lord Justice Moses and Judge Michael Baker QC, told the court Lomas first attacked a woman who was having a cigarette break outside her workplace in Chesterfield at around 5pm in November 2007.

The judge said Lomas asked her for her telephone number and, when she ignored him, he grabbed her breasts and made a crude comment. The woman feared she would be raped, and screamed and shouted until Lomas ran off.

Two hours later Lomas followed a woman in her 50s into an alleyway and asked for sex. He continued to follow her, making sexual comments until the woman ran away.

At 9pm that evening, a 15-year-old girl was walking down another alleyway in the town when Lomas grabbed hold of her in a sexual manner. She was able to get away.

When caught Lomas, of Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, said he was drunk at the time and could not remember any of the incidents.

Derby Crown Court heard that, despite his youth, Lomas had come before the courts more than 20 times and had convictions among others for possession of a firearm, common assault and ABH.

He was on licence from an eight-month detention and training order at the time of the attacks.

Mr Justice Maddison said that although none of the victims suffered any significant physical injury and no weapon was used, the three offences represented ‘a significant elevation in the gravity’ of Lomas’ offending.

He said: “These were apparently random, unprovoked sexual assaults on these women and each of these incidents could have become much more serious but for the resilience of the women involved, who were left shaken by what happened.

“It is clear to us the sentence of detention for public protection was the right sentence and this appeal is dismissed.”