Sheffield sex attacker struck as pensioner begged: ‘Please don’t, I’m old’

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An evil sex attacker who preyed upon a lone Sheffield pensioner assaulted her as she begged: “Please don’t, I’m old.”

Vile Martin Holmes was jailed for 12 years after he armed himself with a knife, followed the 71-year-old woman into a house in Norton Lees and ordered her to undress.

At Hull Crown Court, Judge Mark Bury called the attack ‘grotesque’ but praised the ‘very brave’ victim, who is trying to get on with her life following the horror ordeal.

The court heard Holmes, aged 52, of Machon Bank, Nether Edge, had gone out on the morning of March 17 this year with a kitchen knife and boarded a bus.

John Thackray, prosecuting, said the victim was on the same bus and CCTV later showed Holmes looking ‘repeatedly’ in her direction.

He said: “This defendant targeted a lone female of mature years, followed her on a bus journey, waited until he knew she was alone and then entered via an unlocked door before threatening her with a knife.”

The court heard the victim had changed into her slippers and was washing dishes in the house on Cobnar Drive when Holmes ‘burst’ through a door and told her: “I want money, get me money or I will hurt you.”

The woman, who was 70 at the time, gave Holmes £10 from her purse but refused to give him any more.

He then ordered her to undress and sexually assaulted her as she said: “Please don’t, I’m old.”

But Holmes simply replied: “I know you’re old.”

Holmes then ordered the woman to go upstairs and he assaulted her again, leaving her with an injury.

Mr Thackray said: “He told her to take her wedding ring off and give it to him. She struggled to get it off because of her arthritis.”

The court heard Holmes later pawned the ring for £106. By the time police traced him through CCTV it had been melted down, causing further distress.

Holmes admitted two counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated burglary.

In police interview, he admitted he ‘got a buzz’ from the attack and ‘felt excited’.

Richard Thompson, for Holmes, said he has no previous convictions and added: “This was an isolated incident at a particular stage of his life.”

Jailing him, Judge Bury said: “It’s plain to me you were looking for a victim to rob or burgle because you needed money. You had a gambling addiction which had left you short of money and in significant debt.”

Judge Bury told the court that the victim was a ‘very brave lady’, who cares for her husband and carries out household chores for her busy daughter.

She still works part-time and her employer has called her ‘amazing’.

He added: “She is a very brave person and has had the mental strength not to let this incident totally overwhelm her.

“Nevertheless, you have blighted her life, which will never be as happy as it deserves to be.”

Holmes will be on the sex offenders register for life.