Man jailed after attempted rape in Burnley

JAILED: Ricky Stuart (S)
JAILED: Ricky Stuart (S)

A man responsible for sexually assaulting a woman in Burnley has been jailed for seven years and six months.

Ricky Stuart (31) of no fixed address, was found guilty of attempted rape, sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration, and theft at Burnley Crown Court on Wednesday June 18th following a week-long trial.

He was given a seven and a half year sentence for attempted rape, also receiving five years for sexual assault by penetration, three months for sexual assault and one month for theft to run concurrently.

Stuart has also been put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The court heard how on November 1st last year, Stuart befriended the 47-year-old victim, accompanying her to the Inn on the Wharf pub in Manchester Road where they had drinks with some of her friends.

The victim then retired to a barge which was moored on the canal at the rear of the pub but was afterwards followed by Stuart.

Stuart then went into the victim’s bedroom, placed his hand over her mouth, sexually assaulted her and tried to force her to perform a sexual act on him.

On leaving, he took her handbag, stealing her mobile phone and cash.

He was eventually arrested in Blackpool on November 5th following a large scale police manhunt.

DC Karen Haynes, who works as part of Operation Focus, a specialist team of detectives dedicated to investigating sexual assaults, said: “This has been a truly shocking case. At no point whatsoever has Stuart shown any remorse for his actions.

“He has forced the victim in this case to relive this horrific experience by having to attend court and give evidence and this result is testament to the immense courage she has shown in doing so.

“This was a calculated and premeditated attack on a vulnerable female. Stuart is an extremely dangerous man and I welcome the sentence.

“As we do with all reports of sexual offences, we had specially trained officers working closely with the victim in this case to provide appropriate support.

“I hope that the sentencing of this predator will reassure the public that although offences of this nature are rare, when they do happen they will not only be thoroughly and professionally investigated, but those responsible will face substantial custodial sentences.”