Sex offender is finally jailed 30 years after harrowing attack on teenage girl walking home in Sheffield

A man has been jailed for an “horrific” historical sexual assault which left his victim “living with this for the past 33 years, not knowing who her attacker was”.

Friday, 13th May 2022, 3:43 pm

Raymond Ellis, from Bristol, formerly of Sheffield, carried out a sophisticated and harrowing attack on a 17-year-old girl more than 30 years ago.

Today, he was sentenced to five years in prison at Bristol Crown Court having been found guilty of Indecent Assault.

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Raymond Ellis has been jailed for five years for the horrific sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in Sheffield in 1987.

Bristol Crown Court heard today (May 13) how, in the assault close to midnight on March 15, 1987, the survivor was approaching her home address after a night out with friends when she became aware of someone behind her.

She began running but one of her shoes came off. She saw her pursuer pick it up and was struck on the head, grabbed and dragged along a nearby passage towards Earl Marshall School Fields, at the rear of Skinnerthorpe Road in Sheffield.

The attacker removed an item of her clothing which he used to tie her feet together and forced her to perform a sexual act. He then made her lay face down and fled. The victim was then able to flee to a nearby telephone box where she called police.

Despite an extensive investigation involving many forensic submissions, her attacker was never traced.

But due to advancements in forensic science, further forensic submissions were made which resulted in a match to Ellis. A mixed DNA profile was obtained from the outer sleeve of the woman’s leather jacket she was wearing at the time.

Ellis was arrested in August 2019. In interview, the 60-year-old claimed he had memory loss due to a brain injury sustained in 1997 when he was attacked with pick axe handles by poachers on a salmon farm in Scotland.

He made no comment to any questions including where he was at that time

South Yorkshire Police’s Dave Stopford, head of the Major Incident Review Team, said: “This was a horrific attack on a 17-year-old girl as she made her way home from a night out.

“The victim has had to live with this for the past 33 years not knowing who her attacker was.

“We thank the victim for her patience and resilience during this difficult investigation in which she had to re-live a traumatic incident. She has shown immense courage, patience and trust in us to do so.

“The attack has significantly impacted on her life ever since. This conviction today has provided some closure to the victim, but continues to have serious consequences for her.

"Ellis was obviously surprised when he was arrested for this offence, having thought that he had evaded being caught. The reinvestigation using scientific techniques that were not available in 1987 should send out a message that anyone who has committed such offences is never safe from prosecution.

“The review team at South Yorkshire Police prioritise undetected historic sexual offences and are currently reviewing hundreds of cases. Investigating Officer Rachel Morton has been tenacious in achieving this detection, which due to its historic nature has been complex. I would also like to thank the scientists involved, whose work is invaluable in these historic cases, and without them this perpetrator may never have been brought to justice for this crime.”