A SEX attacker convicted of trying to rape a stranger in broad daylight was cleared of two charges of indecent exposure 16 years ago, The Star can exclusively reveal.
David Brian Thompson, aged 48, was found guilty of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a 50-year-old woman as she walked her dog near Elsecar Reservoir in Barnsley.
Today it emerged Thompson - who has previous convictions for causing death by reckless driving in 1985, and possessing an offensive weapon - was cleared of indecently exposing himself in September 1995.
Thompson, who was 32 years old at the time, told The Star his family had been through “absolute hell” after he was accused of driving up to two women in his car and performing an indecent act.
He claimed his son had been humiliated at school and his wife Janet screamed at in the streets.
Following a hearing at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court at which he was cleared, Thompson told The Star his family had to stop going into their local pub and said people had shouted abuse through their letter box.
He said of his acquittal: “This is absolutely brilliant. It’s such a relief. It’s been absolute hell and we’ve only got through because of the support of friends and neighbours.”
Thompson, of Ash Grove, Rawmarsh, was cleared in 1995 because although one witness picked him out at an ID parade, she described his car as red when it was blue. She also gave the wrong registration plate and said he had a different haircut.
Another witness picked out a different man at an ID parade, while a third couldn’t pick anyone.
Thompson’s family said he had been watching football with them during one alleged incident in Swinton, and he said he’d been babysitting his young daughter at the time of the second offence in Kilnhurst.
Now he is facing years in prison after a jury found him guilty of attempted rape committed in June last year on the Trans Pennine Trail at Elsecar near Barnsley.
In a statement read to Sheffield Crown Court his victim said the attack had changed her life forever.
“I can’t be that completely carefree person I used to be,” she said
Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said: “The worst thing she had to do was tell her family and friends. Walking her dog used to give her a lot of pleasure. But it was doing something she loved the most which caused this to happen.”
Miss Wright said the woman was prepared to give evidence in court without screens as she had nothing to hide. She added she recently had to have her dog put to sleep, adding: “Her dog had kept her life normal after the attack.”