Violent rapist dragged stranded woman off the street before carrying out brutal sex attack in his flat after pretending to be Good Samaritan

A rapist dragged a woman off the street before subjecting her to a violent sex attack in his West Yorkshire flat after offering to help her get home from a night out.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 6:00 am

Shaun Askham was jailed for five-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to raping the victim in his home in Pontefract town centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard Askham offered to help the woman when a taxi driver refused to take her home for being too drunk shortly after she left Big Fellas nightclub..

Askham, who lived in a flat above a different taxi firm nearby, told the woman he would help her get home and she agreed to go with him

Shaun Askham dragged a vulnerable woman into his flat in Pontefract town centre before raping her.

The 50-year-old led the woman towards a taxi booking office on Finkle Street but then pulled her into his home and violently raped her.

Rupert Dodswell, prosecuting, said Askham forced the woman onto the floor before ripping off her top and removing her trousers and shoes.

The prosecutor said the woman told Askham that she did not want to have sex with him but he "carried on regardless."

The woman gouged Askham's face with her fingernails as she tried to fight him off.

After the attack the woman grabbed her jacket and went to the taxi booking office below the flat.

Mr Doswell said the telephone operator at the taxi firm called police when she saw the woman in a distressed state with her clothes ripped.

The victim was shaking and crying and told the operator she thought Askham was going to kill her.

She suffered bruising to her neck, shoulders, arms and genital area during the incident.

The woman described in a victim statement how she feels as though her life has changed forever since the attack, which happened in January this year.

Askham denied raping the woman but pleaded guilty to the offence shortly before he was due to go on trial.

He has previous convictions for violence, dishonesty and driving offences.

Andrea Parnham, mitigating, said Askham, a fork lift truck driver, committed the offence when he was heavily in drink.

She added: "He is aware that he is facing an immediate custodial sentence of some length."

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Askham preyed upon the woman when she was in a vulnerable state.

He told the defendant: "There was only one purpose for that - so you could satisfy your sexual needs with her.

"Having got her to the flat, you did so in a violent way.

"Her victim statement tells me of her change in personality and the effect it has had on her everyday way of life.

"She simply, six months later, wants her old life back and realises that that may never happen."

Askham was told he must go on the sex offender register for life.