A CHILLING sex attacker has been locked up indefinitely to protect the public, after a horrific attack which blighted the life of his victim.
David Brian Thompson, aged 48, attacked a 50-year-old woman walking her dog on the popular Trans Pennine Trail at Elsecar Reservoir, near Barnsley.
The former steel worker denied the attack, insisting he was nowhere near the scene of the crime, but after a trial earlier this month a jury convicted him of attempted rape. The court heard a DNA sample was a partial match with Thompson.
Judge Michael Murphy QC, sentencing Thompson, told him he will serve at least four years before he can apply for parole. But he emphasised there is no upper limit on the time he will spend in jail.
He said: “This offence required a degree of nerve and risk-taking that was truly frightening. It was a dreadful attack on a decent lady. It has truly blighted her life and she will never forget what you have done.
“I have no doubt that it was planned and premeditated. You chose the place and you chose your victim. You had no reason to be there that day apart from to attack this lady.”
The victim was walking her dog on June 24 last year when Thompson grabbed her from behind. As she screamed and tried to fight him off, he forced her to the ground and attempted to rape her. When he fled he left DNA on the victim’s bra.
In October detectives broadcast a national appeal for information on Crimewatch. After the DNA sample produced a partial match with Thompson he was arrested. Analysis of his mobile phone showed he was in the area at the time.
Judge Murphy said Thompson, of Ash Grove, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, had shown “no evidence of contrition”.
“It seems to me you have an ability to lie and to evade reality which is truly chilling,” he added. “You have an ability to take people in. Fortunately this jury was not taken in.”
Defence lawyer Mark George QC said: “This is not a case in which gratuitous violence was used.”
But Judge Murphy told Thompson: “You pounced on her, you violated her and then you made off, leaving her where she was. That you felt so confident and desperate to do it in this place poses a real concern of the danger you pose to women.”
Members of Thompson’s family, who have stuck by him throughout the case, wept and walked out of the public gallery as the judge delivered his sentence.
DCI Sean Middleton, speaking outside court, said: “The victim is very pleased with the sentence, although she is understandably still very traumatised. She thanks those who responded to the Crimewatch appeal.”